Etran Finatawa: The Sahara Sessions (Riverboat/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Etran Finatawa: Matinfa
Etran Finatawa: The Sahara Sessions (Riverboat/Southbound)

Since the emergence of desert blues from the sub-Sahara regions a decade ago through Etran Finatawa, Tinariwen and the often overlooked Malouma (a woman who really rocks), the genre has seen a new generation come through (Tamikrest, the singer-songwriter Bombino), artists going solo (Alhousseini Anivolla of Etran Finatawa with the excellent Anewal/Walking Man), offshoots (Terakaft) and numerous compilations.

Getting mighty crowded out there, which might explain why this seminal band – with Anivolla back in the ranks – took themselves off to animal skin tents in the desert, literally, to record these improvised songs which ride mesmerisingly on rippling electric guitars and calabash rhythms.

Musical visitors who dropped by were spontaneously included.

Certainly there has been some subsequent studio polishing and mixing but with handclaps, ambient sounds and the vocalists closely miked, this has an authentic intimacy which some recordings of desert blues bands haven't had.

And as they sing of the divisive politics of their region (liner notes get you across the line) there is a palpable sadness, offset by the joyous laughter and singing of children on Bakuba.

An up close and personal session of the kind we haven't heard for a while in this hypnotic genre.

For more on Etran Finatawa at Elsewhere including an interview go here. Check the clip below for an insight into this excellen album.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Omara Portuondo: Gracias (Harmonia Mundi)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Omara Portuondo: Gracias (Harmonia Mundi)

The great Cuban singer - who came to world attention via the Buena Vista Social Club a decade ago - is still going even though she is in her late 70, which may be some kind of testament to the... > Read more

Mahala Rai Banda: Ghetto Blasters (Asphalt Tango/Southbound)

Mahala Rai Banda: Ghetto Blasters (Asphalt Tango/Southbound)

Okay, definitely not for every taste but here is clubland, rocked up Gypsy music from Bucharest driven by a brassy horn section and hefty backbeats, and fronted by singer/composer/violinist Ionita... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Newbeats: I Like Bread and Butter (1964)

The Newbeats: I Like Bread and Butter (1964)

This should come with a consumer warning: It's one of those songs you wake up with nagging away in the back of your brain, the song you can't shake and sticks with you all day. So you have been... > Read more

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more