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Mali Music by Damon Albarn
Released: Feb 2005
Label: Parlophone UK
Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn found himself obsessed with African music at the turn of the 21st century, and in 2002 he finally did something about it, joining up with a group of European and African musicians to just hang out and explore. Albarn ultimately distilled the resulting 40 hours of tape into this release. It's an atmospheric journey, alternately grounded in discernable places ("Bamako City," "Tennessee Hotel") and floating in proverbial space ("Sunset Coming On"). The musicians no doubt had a blast; thanks to good editing, we listeners don't have such a bad time either.
Sarah Bardeen