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Will Hodgkinson

The free-flowing desert blues and heavy rock of northern Mali’s Songhoy Blues is a product of desperate circumstances. The band got together in 2012 after escaping a jihadist uprising under which singing in public or practising the guitar put people at risk of a stint in jail, a public flogging or execution. Two years later they did a blistering set at La Maroquinerie, a club in Paris’s 20th arrondissement. Later that week the massacre happened at the Bataclan.

No wonder Résistance sounds so impassioned; music really is a matter of life and death for Songhoy Blues. Amid the warping guitar solos from Garba Touré on Voter, the sweet jazz reveries of Hometown and the vibrant grooves of Bamako, Iggy Pop turns up to warn of a lack of pizza in the desert on Sahara and the teenage south London grime MC Elf Kid offers dispatches from his first African trip on Mali Nord.

There is such spirit and joy running through Résistance, it cannot help but fill you with hope for the future.
(Transgressive)

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The free-flowing desert blues and heavy rock of northern Mali’s Songhoy Blues is a product of desperate circumstances. The band got together in 2012 after escaping a jihadist uprising under which singing in public or practising the guitar put people at risk of a stint in jail, a public flogging or execution. Two years later they did a blistering set at La Maroquinerie, a club in Paris’s 20th arrondissement. Later that week the massacre happened at the Bataclan.

No wonder Résistance sounds so impassioned; music really is a matter of life and death for Songhoy Blues. Amid the warping guitar solos from Garba Touré on Voter, the sweet jazz reveries of Hometown and the vibrant grooves of Bamako, Iggy Pop turns up to warn of a lack of pizza in the desert on Sahara and the teenage south London grime MC Elf Kid offers dispatches from his first African trip on Mali Nord.

There is such spirit and joy running through Résistance, it cannot help but fill you with hope for the future.
(Transgressive)

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