Album Review: Balani Show Super Hits- Electronic Street Parties from Mali

by ptinti


A review of Balani Show Super Hits: Electronic Street Parties from Mali, the latest release from  Sahel Sounds. Balani Show Super Hits takes listeners deep into the melange of traditional sounds and trans-global beats that have come to define Bamako’s fabled street soirées.

Balani Show Super Hits: Electronic Street Parties from Mali, is the latest release from Sahel Sounds, a label run by Christopher Kirkley, a self-described“explorer/music archivist/artist/curator/and occasional DJ.”

Mr. Kirkley has spent the better part of the five years charting the contemporary musical landscape of the Sahel. Since its inception, Sahel Sounds has made a habit of introducing listeners to artists who are not well-known outside their region or even their community. Balani Show Super Hits is just the latest example, highlighting a genre and cultural phenomenon that has only really been accessible to those who can scour for mp3s in Bamako or swap microSD cards with Malian youths.

As Sahel Sounds explains, the street parties that are colloquially known as “Balani Show” began in the late 90s in Bamako when DJs — much to the chagrin of traditional musicians — emerged as a less expensive alternative to hiring live acts.

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