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

Konono No.1 and Batida; Konono No.1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Konono No.1 and Batida; Konono No.1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Musical relationship where the partners share similar attitudes make for warm comfort but often not much creativity. So perhaps because Angola-born, Portugal-based producer and DJ Batida (Pedro... > Read more

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2009 (Border)

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2009 (Border)

Billed as "the unofficial soundtrack to the French Film festival 2009" (and actually an Australian compilation so may bear absolutely no relation whatsoever to the French Film Festival we... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Loretta Lynn's You Ain't Woman Enough Casserole

Loretta Lynn's You Ain't Woman Enough Casserole

Some too-many years back we were driving across the States and found ourselves drawn towards Loretta Lynn's former home -- an ante-bellum mansion of the kind she described as like something out of... > Read more

JOHN COLTRANE; BLUE TRAIN RECONSIDERED (2014): High-end hard bop, and popular

JOHN COLTRANE; BLUE TRAIN RECONSIDERED (2014): High-end hard bop, and popular

Although most of saxophonist John Coltrane's career was on Prestige and especially Impulse!, in September 1957 -- making good on a handshake promise the previous year -- he was loaned by Prestige... > Read more