Bombino: Agadez (Cumbancha)

 |   |  1 min read

Bombino: Adounia/Life
Bombino: Agadez (Cumbancha)

The biggest growth industry in world music in the past decade seems to have come out of the sub-Sahara where electric and electrifying bands have emerged, many of them with rather remarkable backstories of nomadic lifestyles, and of being being freedom fighters and boy soldiers. 

As more and more albums of Sahara blues emerge from great bands like Tinariwen and Etran Finatawa and the younger off-shoots Tamikrest, Terakaft and others, it is increasingly possible to distinguish between styles.

Young singer-guitarist Omara Moctar – aka Bombino – is perhaps a little unlike many of his predecessors in that has been self-schooled in Hendrix, blues and rock.

However he doesn't go the whole Voodoo Chile or sky-scaling soloing route but instead has incorporated those influences into the traditional rhythms of his region -- and then he's added in place a snappy funk feel.

The six minute-plus Tar Hani has a hard-to-shake groove, as does the nine minute Iyat Idounia Ayasahen. He also does a nice line in trance-like pieces (Adounia), and the irrepressibly catchy Kammou Taliat and joyous hand-clap of Tenere should be blasting from your stereo come summer days.

Not everything is so persuasive (neither Azamane nor the five minute Tigrawahi Tikma establish the trance mood effectively or rise above their groove) but the best here is as good as it gets in desert blues and if you've come here because of those important namechecks above then there are plenty of rewards here – albeit cooler and less passionate than what some have been delivering.

Like the idea of desert blues? Then here's your starting point, and just follow the links. See you again in a few months.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Sousou and Maher Cissoko: Africa Moo Baalu (ARC)

Sousou and Maher Cissoko: Africa Moo Baalu (ARC)

The kora player/singer Maher Cissoko is a Senegalese griot who ended up in The Gambia (after his father “threw him out of the house”, according the liner notes), then moved on to... > Read more

Arsen Petrosyan: Charentsavan; Music for Armenian Duduk

Arsen Petrosyan: Charentsavan; Music for Armenian Duduk

The acknowledged master of the Armenian duduk — a double-reed flute capable of deep emotional expression in the right hands — is Djivan Gasparian, but already the young Petrosyan is... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE INCIDENT, a film by LARRY PEERCE (Madman DVD)

THE INCIDENT, a film by LARRY PEERCE (Madman DVD)

This exceptionally taut black'n'white drama from 1967 is one the great cult films, not just for its undeniable filmic qualities but the fact it was for so long unavailable on DVD or, to the best of... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Tom Ludvigson of Trip to the Moon

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Tom Ludvigson of Trip to the Moon

As one half of the production of the new Trip to the Moon album A Traveller's Tale – with Trevor Reekie – Tom Ludvigson brings a wealth of playing, writing and production experience.... > Read more