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

OTTMAR LIEBERT INTERVIEWED (2006): A new age of flamenco

OTTMAR LIEBERT INTERVIEWED (2006): A new age of flamenco

Very few musicians can claim to have created a genre, but with his 1990 album Nouveau Flamenco, guitarist Ottmar Liebert did exactly that. Liebert’s hybrid style -- which existed... > Read more

Various: Womad New Zealand 2008 (Shock)

Various: Womad New Zealand 2008 (Shock)

More than a third of the artists on this 16 track collection -- Toumani Diabate, Mavis Staples, SJD, Cesaria Evora, Beirut, Susana Baca -- have appeared at Elsewhere, and a few of them have been... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mahi's West Coast Venison Hot Pot

Mahi's West Coast Venison Hot Pot

This recipe was provided by Jayson Hussey, aka Mahi which means "work" because he was always working. He was the chef at the luxurious Franz Joseph Glacier Country Retreat near the Franz... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN ADAM McGRATH OF THE EASTERN on what drives their new album, The Territory

GUEST MUSICIAN ADAM McGRATH OF THE EASTERN on what drives their new album, The Territory

It'd be good to know exactly where it's at. I mean the what it is, the what it was and what it shall be, are hard enough but the elusive “where it's at” creates all kinds of... > Read more