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

Various Artists The Rough Guide to Rare Latin Grooves (Rough Guide)

Various Artists The Rough Guide to Rare Latin Grooves (Rough Guide)

For a very short while I played DJ in a fashionable bar for a few hours a night, about once a fortnight -- or a month -- or something like that. You can guess from my lack of enthusiastic... > Read more

Afrobeast: Yaaba Funk (Sterns/Southbound)

Afrobeast: Yaaba Funk (Sterns/Southbound)

Here's a true meltdown of many African styles from a multi-culti/multi-continent group from Brixton which pulls together juju guitars and a horn section, brings in some rolling Afrobeat percussion... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Christy Moore: The story teller and me

Christy Moore: The story teller and me

Car dealers certainly. Lawyers and politicians of course, when it best suits them. But musicians? I know they gild the truth or embellish it for some self-aggradisement, but I never really expect... > Read more

The Knack: And How To Lose It

The Knack: And How To Lose It

Okay, this is how I remember The Knack and its lead singer Doug Feiger, but it was a long time ago so the memory may be dodgy. It was August 13, 1979 to be exact and the ads boasted "biggest... > Read more