Incredible Afrobeat music from Mali



For tens of years, I’ve been getting my occasional dose of Afrobeat on public music stations via the BBC’s music channels (thank goodness for jobs that allow me to stay up to the wee hours).
Of course, Spotify has a myriad of selections including a few compilations from Mr. Bongo, too.


OK, we’re getting way off subject, but I should add: my grandparents used to watch Lawrence Welk all the time, and every once in a great while he would have something on that would be “hip” if it appeared in another context.


I probably am. Still doesn’t make the sonic architecture of any of that stuff less dismal and meaningless.

Then you’re ripe for Zouk and Soukous music. Zouk-head salespeople at the old brick+mortar Rhino Records in LA turned me on to the stuff many years ago. Start with this; move busting brilliance!

And this.



One of my dreams is to own alllllll of those (there are so many!).

1 Like

Palmwine music from Ghana is really cool too. (Ghanaian?) I have just one CD of it but it’s great - I really should hunt down some more. Vita brevis, ars longa.

Try some Congolese music:


The Ethiopiques albums really are great, but remember: Africa is a huge continent (you can fit the continental USA into Africa three times), so East Africa really is a different thing than West Africa (just like the Arabic Northern coast is very different culturally than all of sub-Saharan Africa, and the music of Southern Africa has very little in common with Nigeria or Ghana.)

This Mr. Bongo comp is interesting because I had no idea (though I should have expected it) that Afrobeat filtered up into Mali-- my knowledge of Malian music is mostly of more Arab-influenced stuff (Mali shares a border with Algeria and Mauritania).


I feel that way about a lot of it, having grown up associating it mostly with wallpaper-sound in Hollywood movies. I’ve since come to appreciate a lot of it, and to find effective evocations of emotions in it. Maybe close your eyes and try this, after a long, busy day.


I used to pay lip service to classical music (“oh yeah, I like classical music, sure”) but I rarely listened to it. I have to admit that stressful annoying days at work definitely made me come to love it. Albinoni’s famous “Adagio in G minor” (which appears in a lot of films) was an obvious choice some days. I started buying those cheap classical sampler cds at the thrift store, and found a lot of them were quite good (they obviously want to put nothing but “hits” on them, and even if some of the orchestras are kind of sub-par, second rate classical musicians are still more talented than most other musicians.) There is a Deutsche Grammphone cd of Karajan just called “Adagio” that is nothing but “mellow gold” (for lack of a better term.)


You’ll find there’s a LOT of classical on Youtube. I find Bach especially helpful for work,

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.