mon 04/07/2022

CD: Mamani Keita – Gagner L’Argent Francais | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Mamani Keita – Gagner L’Argent Francais

CD: Mamani Keita – Gagner L’Argent Francais

The one-time backing vocalist continues to forge her own unique identity

Mamani Keita: Using rock to put a fresh perspective on her African roots

Gagner l’argent Francais (which translates as “to earn French money”) begins, like any other West-targeted West African album, with the pitter-patter of tiny congas and some delicately picked kora. But then, two minutes in, a bright stab of reverb-heavy keyboard heralds the entrance of grungy rock guitar and drums. It’s a bold way to open an album in that it may alienate some of the Radio 3 Late Junction world music demographic. But it isn’t the first time Mamani Keita has put before her audience challenging and innovative music. I have particularly fond memories of Electro Bamako, her 2001 collaboration with Marc Minelli. This was a unique fusion of sophisticated Parisian pop, jazz and electronica juxtaposed to Malian melodies and rhythms, which - unlike many such throw-everything-into-the-pot exercises - was actually greater than the sum of its parts.

Gagner l’argent Francais (which translates as “to earn French money”) begins, like any other West-targeted West African album, with the pitter-patter of tiny congas and some delicately picked kora. But then, two minutes in, a bright stab of reverb-heavy keyboard heralds the entrance of grungy rock guitar and drums. It’s a bold way to open an album in that it may alienate some of the Radio 3 Late Junction world music demographic. But it isn’t the first time Mamani Keita has put before her audience challenging and innovative music. I have particularly fond memories of Electro Bamako, her 2001 collaboration with Marc Minelli. This was a unique fusion of sophisticated Parisian pop, jazz and electronica juxtaposed to Malian melodies and rhythms, which - unlike many such throw-everything-into-the-pot exercises - was actually greater than the sum of its parts.

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