Milian Hip Hop Crew SMOD Coming to Pittsburgh

If you are looking to take a bit of a turn from the typical mainstream groups that come through Pittsburgh, look no further than SMOD coming to visit us at The Shadow Lounge on July 25.
SMOD is a Malian musical band established in 2000 made up originally of Sam, Mouzy, Ousco and Donsky. The name of the band is an acronym of their first names {Smod is also a common pet name given to a loved one (wikipedia)}. Mouzy eventually left the band to pursue a solo career in France. Their music is a mix of rap, hip hop, folk, blues and traditional Malian music. SMOD embodies the emergence of a new scene in Africa, the embracing of new urban sounds while incorporating the importance of heritage.

We here at Pittsburgh Music Magazine took a listen and found SMOD’s sound encompasses a rich tradition with an upbeat new mastery that has the feeling of the islands, mixed with the pulse and beat of Marley, blended with the best of raps’ rhythm and a touch of the jungle meets Louisiana. Their music would be a welcome addition to your party mix and comes in perfect time for summer celebrations.

SMOD’s debut album was in 2002 entitled Dunia Kuntala (meaning the course of life in French) produced the music manager of Amadou & Mariam, a blind Malian famous duo. Sam is the son of the couple. This was followed in 2004 by the album Ta i tola (meaning come on). In this album, they cooperated with Amadou & Mariam, Manu Chao, King Massassi and Kisto Dem.The same year they won a golden disc for their song “Politic Amagni” (meaning politics is not good) taken from Amadou & Mariam album Dimanche à Bamako (meaning a beautiful Sunday in Bamako in French).
In 2005, their music video “Dakan” directed by Fabrice Brovelli remains very popular broadcast on Malian television. They have been featured in African Cup of Nations event and in a number of Malian and international festivals and give around 50 concerts a year in Mali. SMOD started touring Europe in 2008, supporting Touré Kinda, Matthieu Chedid, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Salif Keita, Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangare and Manu Chao amongst many others.
For their third self-titled album in 2010 called SMOD, they collaborated with Manu Chao who produced the album and was recorded in Mali and France. The first release from the album was “Ça chante”. Other public favourite from the album include “Ambola” and “Les dirigeants africains” (meaning the African leaders in French). As a result, they became well-known in France and in world music (wikipedia).

SMOD has received some stunning accolades such as in Rolling Stone saying, “SMOD carries Chao’s signature psychedelic bounce: bulbous reggae bass lines, one-note melodies, dubby chants, video-game sound effects” NPR “FIVE AFRICAN ARTISTS TO WATCH”, “This young group’s self-titled debut combines clever and hard-hitting political rap with appealing African guitar lines. The result is an engaging new sound of Mali, with a strong dose of Manu Chao in the mix”, and MTV IGGY, “SMOD has one of the most intriguing sounds I’ve heard in a long time.”

Check them out here:


And be sure to check them out at Shadow Lounge July 25 http://www.shadowlounge.net/.