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

Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective: Watina (Cumbancha/Elite)

Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective: Watina (Cumbancha/Elite)

If nothing else, Music From Elsewhere can send you to the atlas: this collection of warm, melodic and memorable songs comes from one of the most well-known singers of the Garifuna, a people who... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Bollywood Disco (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Bollywood Disco (Rough Guide/Southbound)

There is no sane or relevant reason for posting anything about this oddball digital-only compilation other than that it is silly fun, has some terrific (if borrowed) disco-dance groove which come... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Eric Andersen: Blue Rain: Live (Appleseed/Elite)

Eric Andersen: Blue Rain: Live (Appleseed/Elite)

After four decades as a troubadour, Andersen has finally got round to recording a live album -- but he has done it with typically wilfulness: he hooked up with a Norwegian blues band and recorded... > Read more

The Replacements: Tim (1985)

The Replacements: Tim (1985)

The swaggering, often drunk Replacements hold such a firm place in many people's affections that singling out just one of their eight studio albums for attention is bound to irritate someone. Maybe... > Read more