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Sahel Sounds: Modern Music from Mali

Working closely with Christopher Kirkley, the writer and recordist behind the Sahel Sounds Blog and label, we will meet the newest generation of musicians from Mali. With their possibilities transformed by technology and their musical tastes reshaped by an exposure to sounds drawn from across the world, these young musicians are radically rethinking centuries old traditions. Get ready for the fast-paced guitar bands of the north, the MP3 markets in which digital music passes from cellphone to cellphone, and the Balani Show music of Bamako. Produced by Sam Backer


 The network of music really does travel everywhere. Like I said, in a lot of these villages there is no cellphone reception, but there are still cellphones. So the cellphone is a ubiquitous device even if you can’t use it for communication, you really need a cellphone because how else are you going to listen to music? Read More


 To give you a better taste of the full range of the music put out by the label, Christopher put together an exclusive mix for our listeners. Give it a listen, and be sure to check out Sahel Sounds for more cutting edge music from West Africa!

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  • David Gilden

    I hope the older musical traditions like the kora, ngoni and balophone will not die or get replaced with virtual instruments & midi synths…