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

Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers (World Music Network/Southbound)

Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers (World Music Network/Southbound)

The music of the itinerant Bauls of Bengal has only made a brief appearance at Elsewhere previously (the album by Bapi Das Baul here) but its uplifting spiritual quality in pop-sized bites (it is... > Read more

POTTED PROFILE: Salif Keita

POTTED PROFILE: Salif Keita

The man often referred to as "the Golden Voice of Africa" (and that doesn't mean he's that continent's John Farnham) has had quite an extraordinary career. He was born in Mali and was... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

James' "no worries" Curried Alaskan King Crab

James' "no worries" Curried Alaskan King Crab

My friend James has appeared at Recipes from Elsewhere with two excellent dishes, his authentically Thai chicken and his chilli lime Thai fish with coriander. But this one is especially special.... > Read more

JOHN PULE IN NIUE (2013): The homecoming

JOHN PULE IN NIUE (2013): The homecoming

John Pule pushes aside another tangle of thick branches, steps through the ankle-grabbing undergrowth, scans the ground which is strewn with coconuts then peers closely into the green canopy... > Read more