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Sound Travels The New: Peace For Mali, Electro-Gnawa, New Reggae and The Island Called Reunion


In response to the situation in Mali, Sound Travels fave  Fatoumata Diawara has gathered over 40 of the Country’s most renowned musicians to record a video and song calling for peace and presumably preserving their musical traditions. Islamists have destabilized the country and co-opted an earlier Tuareg uprising, imposing laws that amoung other things, forbid music.

The group collectively called 'Voices United for Mali' includes Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangare, Bassekou Kouyate, Vieux Farka Toure, Djelimady Tounkara, Toumani Diabate, Khaira Arby, Kasse Mady Diabate, Baba Salah, Afel Bocoum, Tiken Jah, Amkoullel and Habib Koite amongst many others. The track is called 'Mali-ko' (Peace / La Paix).

Voices Of Mali "Mali-Ko"



I recently discovered a band on bandcamp called Electric Jalaba who are deftly weaving the trance-folk music of Morocco with electronic music. Led by moroccan gnawa master musician Simo Lagnawi, this UK outfit is another intriguing band to watch. Their music is not exactly radio, but that's not a bad thing at all, they're better off keeping the jam-oriented tradition of gnawa intact as it just takes some time for the music to seep through the layers.

Electric Jalaba "Sadiye" Introducing Electric Jalaba

Another UK crew working an international sound is By The Rivers. By The Rivers, are an nice little 6 piece from Leicester. Apparently, friends since birth, Nile Barrow and Jordan Birtles have a passion for the sound, culture and style of Jamaican music. In particular, drawn to the crucial sounds that promote real roots messages. The sound is a bit idealistic and sunny, but that's not a bad way to make reggae and they come off rather competently despite their youth. Worth watching... 

By The Rivers "Take Control"

I found out about Christine Salem while working with the cats from Alverno's Global Union at hammering out a line-up for this year's event. One of the possibilities that came up was this amazing band called Christine Salem and led by a beautiful lady of the same name. They're sound is as tropical as their island home, the tiny island called Reunion. One part percussive, rhythm break-down and the other sweet and smooth like Christine's vocals. Very very disappointed we couldn't get them for our festival, but I had them for you on Sound Travels... 

Christine Salem "Sakalav" Salem Tradition

Production Manager | Radio Milwaukee