Music: Welcome to Mali

Amadou & Mariam

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia embody eclecticism at its liveliest. Following 2005’s Dimanche à Bamako, recorded with Spanish collagist Manu Chao, this bracing album from the blind Malian couple gracefully blends everything from traditional instruments like kora and balafon to cellos and trombones, generating hypnotic, danceable layers of sound. Highlights include the synth-driven “Sabali,” produced by Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), the sexy R&B of “Je Te Kiffe,” and “Masiteladi,” featuring Amadou & Mariam’s gospel-style vocal exchanges, spiky guitar riffs, and a deep-funk groove. One of the pleasures of Welcome to Mali is listening for the surprising ingredients the band adds to its endlessly flexible songs.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest