Malian music is synonymous with the country itself. When recent tumult saw violence spill out onto the streets, music was banned and musicians were threatened and deported before French troops restored some order this year.
It all did nothing to quell songwriting in one of the world’s music capitals–Brian Eno said a recent trip felt like “a week-long musical humiliation.” You can hear its influence creep into the Western sounds of Django Django and, in this case, Ghostpoet.
“Season Change” is off Maisons des Jeunes, an album by Africa Express. Ghostpoet recorded the song during a trip to Mali, recorded over the course of a week in a makeshift studio.
Africa Express is a group of four Malian refugees who fled Timbuktu last year, decided it wasn’t going to get them down, and ended up getting produced by Eno. Malian music has that magnetic, hypnotizing effect, drums of the earth moving in syncopated swells. “Season Change” sees Ghostpoet add in a fat fuzzy bass and start talking, and the whole thing just coagulates.
It’s a Gorillaz/King Krule lovechild, and the video backs the drums with the Malian colors shining through a silhouette. Check out the rest of Maisons des Jeunes on iTunes.