Amadou & Mariam are a couple from Republic of Mali, Africa, and have a
really cool history. Known as “the blind couple from Mali”, because
they are a blind couple from Mali. They met in the 80s and have since been playing a type of music that mixes traditional and local sounds with guitars and other traditional instruments from around the world. Their sound has since been known as afro-blues.
Although together for ages, it wasn’t until 2003 that the world paid them any attention since they had an album produced by Mano Chao. Stuff started to roll on for the duo after that. They were selected to write the official anthem of FIFA’s 2006 World Cup, they opened for Scissor Sisters and Coldplay, played festivals like Lollapalooza and All Tomorrow’s Parties, 2008 saw them place a song in Pitchfork’s best of list and - my personal favorite - they were invited to write a song for Twlight’s New Moon soundtrack (thank you, Wikipedia...by the way, have you helped them Wiki peops out already?).
To add more awesomeness to this impressive resumé, the band is releasing a remix album that features some of the coolest people around, like Yuksek and Vitalic as well as Akon and Bob Sinclar (the world ain't a perfect place and you know it) with 13 reinterpretations of Amadou & Mariam tracks.
Some of the tracks have been floating around for a long time, like the
awesome Theophilus London remix for ‘Sabali’, that Theo named 'Grey X Sage' on his mixtape. Theophilus actually told us a little tidbit about this in reference to how good the remix is; because apparently as a result of this remix alone, Damon Albarn invited Theo to become a character in the cartoon band Gorillaz.
And there are new remixes, like the Miike Snow contribution, that re-arranges the track with an amazing electronic vibe that works beautifully with Mariam's falsetto vocals. The Miike Snow remix is mellow and uplifting, yes, but it's in the original that you can truly see exactly what it is that all these talented people see in the blind duo. Kudos to Damon Albarn for the production on this one.
Amandou & Mariam Remix is out in January - but you can already hear 30
seconds snippets on their Myspace - and will be followed by an album
with new songs in February that will feature Santigold and Yeah Yeah
Yeahs’ Nick Zinner.