Amadou and Mariam are a musical duo from Mali, composed of the couple Mariam Doumbia (vocals) (born in Mali’s capital Bamako 15 April 1958) and Amadou Bagayoko (guitar and vocals) (born in Bamako 24 October 1954). The pair, known as “the blind couple from Mali” met at Mali’s Institute for the Young Blind, and found they shared an interest in music. The duo produces music that mixes traditional Mali sound with rock guitars, Syrian violins, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian ney, Colombian trombones, Indian tablas and Dogon percussion. All these elements put together have been referred to as “afro-blues”. In 2004 they put out an acclaimed album produced by Manu Chao. In 2006 they were acknowledged with BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music in the two categories: Africa and Album of the Year (for the “Dimanche à Bamako” release)
Amadou & Mariam make a joyous, tightly constructed form of Afro-pop that crosses musical borders just as fluidly as it interweaves guitar lines. The Remixes album’s list of contributors is wonderfully random: Nas and Damian Marley, Miike Snow, Akon, Theophilus London, Yuksek, and plenty more. Up above, you can stream the radio edit of bludgeoning French dance producer Vitalic’s “Sabali” remix. The duo have admirers from all over the musical map, and many of them show up on Remixes, an album of reworkings (some of them previously unreleased) that was released on Nonesuch/Because.