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Vieux Farka Touré et Khruangbin


Khruangbin and Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré have released their highly-anticipated collaborative album Ali honoring Vieux’s late father, the great Ali Farka Touré, on Dead Oceans in partnership with Night Time Stories Ltd. Together, says BBC, “they've concocted a striking and stylish tribute album that honours Ali's music while spinning it off in unexpected new directions.”


Already Ali has been highlighted everywhere from The New York Times and NPR (“labyrinthine fusion of dub, blues and Malian grooves,”), to GQ who says “there’s a placelessness to the band Khruangbin that, counterintuitively, gives them their gravity.”

Ali’s legacy and impact are hard to overstate. Merging his much-loved traditional Malian musical styles with distinct elements of the blues, singing in the local languages of Songhay, Tamasheq, Fulfulde and Bambara. The result was the creation of a groundbreaking new genre, now well known as the ‘desert blues’, earning him 3 Grammy awards, widespread reverence and the nickname of the ‘African John Lee Hooker.’ And there were no better musicians to take on the challenge than Vieux and Khruangbin as with each new project both broaden their horizons, embrace new challenges and further entrench their shared reputation as some of the world’s most innovative musicians.

“As a passionate champion for the people of Mali and The Sahel, Vieux founded the charity Amahrec Sahel in 2012. As part of Amahrec Sahel’s mission to support humanitarian reconstruction and culture, the charity has provided school supplies for children, supported an orphanage in Bamako and provided musical instruments for young musicians in Mali. Vieux is also the director of The Ali Farka Touré Foundation, an international organization dedicated to the preservation of Ali’s legacy and the cultural growth of Mali.

Also out today is a video for the song “Diarabi,” which captures the adventurous sentiment of the album while the quartet updates Ali’s original with pronounced drums, resulting in a sound rooted in R&B yet mysteriously distant. The album is a testament to what happens when creativity is approached through open arms and open hearts. “To me, music is magic, it is spontaneous, it is the energy between people,” Vieux says. “I think Khruangbin understands this very well.”

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