Sahel Sounds Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records
Hama is a Nigerian-based composer and this record genuinely sounds pretty fun. Apparently a mix of 90's synth-pop and 'traditional electronic desert folk', what couldn't be to love? I wasn't even aware that contemporary electronic desert folk was a thing, let alone traditional - we live and we learn. Houmeissa is available on Vinyl LP and CD, and released on Sahel Sounds.
- Vinyl LP (SS049LP)
- In stock and ready to ship
- Last copy
Prior to Akaline Kidal, Ahmed Ag Kaedy had been working with a band for some more filled out recordings. For this album he's gone back to the basics of the Tuareg folk tradition, recording 12 tracks with just his voice and his acoustic guitar. The album is a sombre one, as he reflects on his exile from Northern Mali, and the civil war that drove him out.
The soundtrack to Zerzura, the first every Saharan acid Western. It was composed by Ahmoudou Madassane who also wrote the film and acted in it. Once the film had been shot recorded the whole soundtrack while watching it giving the music a powerful connection to the footage. He mostly used an electric guitar, playing in the Tuareg folk style.
Beloved Sahel Sounds continue their tireless project of supporting and distributing the great variety of local musicians in contemporary West African countries to listeners elsewhere. Here it’s Hali Diallo by Timbuktu trio Tallawit Timbouctou. The album is a single session of tehardine, vocals and upturned gourd percussion fed into homemade microphones and grimy amplifiers - gritty, hypnotic and full of joy.
Troupe Ecole Tudu
If you don’t know Sahel Sounds then now would be a good time to acquaint yourself. The excellent label releases new and archival records that originated across the northern African region of the Sahel. Their latest drop, Troupe Ecole Tudu’s Oyiwane, is a 1985 collection that had previously been unavailable outside of Niger. The TET were an all-girls choir from a school in the country’s Agadez region. With its massed vocals and Ali Farka Toure-esque guitar accompaniment (provided by the girls’ teacher Barmo) this rare record is representative of a style that would become popular in Niger over the subsequent years. The recording is grainy and often shrill, but this is still a vital bit of listening.
- Vinyl LP (SS047LP)
- In stock and ready to ship
- Last copy
Sahel Sounds have uncovered something genuinely original and unique here. The female trio live in a remote Saharan village in Niger and have devised a style combining modern Tuareg guitar with rural tende songs, and new songs in that style. In doing so they’ve matched traditionally female-sung folk with a modern style that’s usually the sole preserve of men. The band first left their village last year, and recorded this LP during their European tour. Fans of Tinariwen will dig this.
Here we have a different take on the rich Tuareg guitar sound to the kind of material we usually hear circulated in the west (think Tinariwen and Group Inerane). Mdou Moctar records solo, layering his guitar and voice (and some sparse other instrumentation) into some superbly minimal and intimate recordings. LP release on Sahel Sounds.
Afous D’Afous are a band from the Tuareg culture that brought you such favourites as Tinariwen, though their music has as yet been uncirculated in the West. All that has changed with Tenere though, which gives us the full juicy sound of Afous D’Afous, which combines ‘that’ guitar sound with bold synth and dub inflections. On Sahel Sounds.
10 tracks of incredibly out there stuff. A Saharan spin on the very western hip hop world, all nurtured by smaller communities and them trading mp3s with each other, remember making mix tapes?. Filled with autotuned vocals, immensely cheeky computer synths, switching between half time clapping beats and speedier ragga-like riddims. Limited vinyl from Sahel Sounds.
Musique Guitare de la République du Niger is an excellent compilation of contemporary guitar music, all recorded with a single microphone on location around Niger. The performances are luscious, and the added background buzz of the locations adds delicious flavour. Released as a vinyl LP on the Sahel Sounds label in an edition of 1000, with useful liner notes included.
Luka Productions is a composer who uses the term avant-griot to describe their music: they have taken both early experimental electronic music and new age music and pulled them into the orbit of Mali’s traditional styles. Fasokan mixes up sounds and styles to produce a unique suite of West African new age. This LP is released by Sahel Sounds in an edition of 500.
Jeich Ould Badu and Ahmedou Ahmed Lewla
Jeich Ould Badu and Ahmedou Ahmed Lewla are two of the main men when it comes to the Mauritanian pop genre of WZN (of which this is apparently the first internationally-distributed example). The material on Top WZN is made up of an Arabic-scaled keyboard and a lute that has been cranked up through various phasers and effects for an amazingly sheened sound. Vinyl release on Sahel Sounds.
Amadou Binta Konte and Tidiane Thiam
Amadou Binta Konte and Tidiane Thiam recorded the music on Waande Kadde in situ, in a Senegalese fishing village (this means that you can hear children playing around in the background, which is a lovely touch). Guitar and hoddu, improvising together around some gorgeous themes. This is a great, natural-feeling recording of some wonderful music. Released by Sahel Sounds in a limited edition of 500 LP copies.