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

Various: The Rough Guide to Bollywood Gold (Rough Guide/Elite)

Various: The Rough Guide to Bollywood Gold (Rough Guide/Elite)

More scholarly heads than mine would able to discuss whether this 15-track collection is a fair reflection of the Bollywood scene: but it certainly contains the big names like Asha Bhosle (two... > Read more

Amadou and Miriam: Welcome to Mali (Warners)

Amadou and Miriam: Welcome to Mali (Warners)

Just by the sheer number of artists it produces, you'd have to say Mali seems to have -- like Jamaica -- an almost unnatural number of gifted, inventive musicians, many of whom have appeared at... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LOST IN MUSIC, by GILES SMITH

LOST IN MUSIC, by GILES SMITH

Pop obsession can be tragic stuff: those long days in record shops searching for an obscure Flock of Seagulls 12-inch; the nights spent putting all your albums into alphabetical order (do solo... > Read more

1950s RADIO IN COLOUR; THE LOST PHOTOGRAPHS OF DEEJAY TOMMY EDWARDS by CHRISTOPHER KENNEDY

1950s RADIO IN COLOUR; THE LOST PHOTOGRAPHS OF DEEJAY TOMMY EDWARDS by CHRISTOPHER KENNEDY

Cleveland, Ohio has a formidable reputation as a rock'n'roll city -- today it is the home of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and Museum -- but you'd have to guess there was more to it than just that... > Read more