Malouma; Nour (Harmonia Mundi) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

 |   |  <1 min read

Malouma: Nebine
Malouma; Nour (Harmonia Mundi) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The shrink-wrap that this exceptional album came in provides the clue: "blues woman mauritanienne, transcende les frontieres musicales". And Amen -- or more correctly Allahu Akbar -- to all that.

Malouma isn't "blues" in the same way that say Etran Finatawa or Tinariwen (see tags) are: if you are desperately looking for a connection you might like to think of some parts of Robert Plant's more adventurous North African-influenced albums in recent years.

That's because Malouma has something akin to a "rock" band here with electric guitars and bass.

But of course this music is utterly grounded in her culture so it lopes along into seductive and seemingly endless, melodic lines, riding those hypnotic mictrotones, and aching with passion.

In places it sounds like it might have been produced by Brian Eno (those weird little sonic fills which sound like backwards guitars) and the whole things is so tangential that songs shift into different styles and colours at various points.

You never lose interest in any of this, it is quite a revelation.

Music from the border of Orient and Occident, and located right in the 21st century.

Share It

Your Comments

Gavin Hancock - Dec 8, 2011

Glad to have this and not merely because it covers Mauritania on my global music map! The rock instrumentation mentioned in Graham's review blend in so well you hardly notice them...as is typical with desert blues the sound produced by these instruments becomes "localised "due to the playing style of the musicians.

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

LILA DOWNS INTERVIEWED 2007: Singing the politics and heritage of Mexico

LILA DOWNS INTERVIEWED 2007: Singing the politics and heritage of Mexico

Lila Downs admits she is surprised her music has become internationally successful. After all, much of what she sings is in Spanish, it speaks of the pride and plight of the Mexican and Indian... > Read more

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

GLOBAL RADIO: A round-up of recent world music releases

Because Elsewhere is one of the few mainstream websites which has no problem writing about world music in the same space as pop, rock, jazz, reggae and whatever, we have been increasingly inundated... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BOB DYLAN'S LIKE A ROLLING STONE by GREIL MARCUS (2005): All things considered . . .

BOB DYLAN'S LIKE A ROLLING STONE by GREIL MARCUS (2005): All things considered . . .

When Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone snarled out of radios more than 40 years ago, its compelling sound grabbing the attention for the duration of its ground-breaking six minutes. Even today it is... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND sees Sinatra at his meanest and best

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND sees Sinatra at his meanest and best

Suddenly is a Californian town where everybody knows everyone, it has been a “quiet day for the last 50 years” and words like shucks, swell and heck punctuate conversations. This... > Read more