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Neil Spencer

Formed after a jihadi incursion forced them into exile, this north Malian guitar quartet has won many friends since their 2015 debut, wowing international audiences with their mix of desert blues, funk, rock and, well, whatever takes their fancy. They have Iggy Pop rumbling away on Sahara, for example, warning us that “there ain’t no pizza” there, and south London grime MC Elf Kid struggling with the sinuous horns of Mali Nord. They hit a James Brown groove on Bamako, use fiddle on the Ali Farka-style Hometown, and let loose a children’s choir on One Colour, a delightful closer to a joyous, eclectic album.

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Formed after a jihadi incursion forced them into exile, this north Malian guitar quartet has won many friends since their 2015 debut, wowing international audiences with their mix of desert blues, funk, rock and, well, whatever takes their fancy. They have Iggy Pop rumbling away on Sahara, for example, warning us that “there ain’t no pizza” there, and south London grime MC Elf Kid struggling with the sinuous horns of Mali Nord. They hit a James Brown groove on Bamako, use fiddle on the Ali Farka-style Hometown, and let loose a children’s choir on One Colour, a delightful closer to a joyous, eclectic album.

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