Category Archives: film

into the norient

Poster_Musikfilm-Festival_2016Very excited to be part of two exciting programs in the coming weeks. I’m off to Europe, and will be joining Norient for their 2016 Musikfilm Festival in Bern, Switzerland – followed by a screening and panel discussion at CTM New Geographies in Berlin. Both festivals have incredible events planned at multiple towns and venues. It’s gonna get weird – stop by and say hello!

Jan 15 – AKOUNAK screening 20:30 – Norient Muskfilm Fest – Bern, CH
Jan 17 – DJ Set 20:30 – Norient Muskfilm Fest – Bern, CH
Feb 2 – Panel: Global Music 15:30 – How To Research Music Today – CTM – Berlin, DE
Feb 3 – AKOUNAK film screening 16:00 – CTM – Berlin, DE 

In the space between events, I’ll be dipping down to Niger, working on a new film about immigrant desert crossings and a mythical city in the Sahara, so expect a few updates from the road.

 

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai OST

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai or “Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in it,” is Mdou Moctar’s feature length fiction film. It is largely a musical film, and like any musical film now has a soundtrack – featuring new compositions by the band, in what is effectively their first studio album.

The music for Akounak was recorded over the past two years. Some of the acoustic pieces were recorded on the fly, spontaneous sessions during pre-production. Other songs were recorded during the shoot itself. Some of the instrumental music is a result of running out of gas in the bush and toying around with a portable amplifier under a tree 20 kilometers outside of Agadez. The songs with the full band were recorded in Marseille at L’Embobineuse in single takes. The soundtrack was mixed by label mate and frequent collaborator Jesse Johnson of Boomarm Nation.

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai OST is now available on vinyl from the shop and digital via bandcamp.

Akounak Premiere

After nearly a year from our shoot, we’re pleased to announce the premiere of our film. Starring Mdou Moctar, a longtime Sahel Sounds artist and collaborator, Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (“Rain the Color Blue with a little Red in it”) is the fictional tale of a young guitarist trying to make it against all odds. You can read more about it here.

Per the aforementioned Kickstarter, we’ll be premiering the film in two places: Jan. 29th at the Hollywood Theater in Portland, Oregon, followed by a premiere Feb. 5th at Le Gyptis in Marseille, France.

Though originally slated to be released quickly, a mere six months after the shoot, post production was extended far beyond the realm envisioned. We enlisted a team for color correction, recorded new versions of the songs, redubbed portions of the audio, delved into foley work, and hired a sound engineer to mix and master the audio. Most of these post production steps were unexpected, as the interest in the film caught us by surprise. What we had imagined as an experimental project with a handful of screenings in the West and distribution via West African DVD players transformed into something beyond our expectations. Post-production is something overlooked by many filmmakers, especially this one. Next time, it would be interesting to follow with a post that could be done in record time, carried out in West Africa – a fully encapsulated project start to finish on the ground. Though we’re in no hurry to remake Under the Cherry Moon.

We had the chance to screen the film in Agadez in September 2014. It was a very vocal crowd, filled over capacity, and the film was punctuated with cheers and applause. The Agadez reviews are good, which was a most flattering conclusion to the project. But more work remains – we’ve still got Kickstarter rewards coming, and DVDs are in production. The soundtrack is in its final stages of mixing and an LP will be released this year. And we are slated to release the film in West Africa across the Tuareg diaspora – so if you find yourself in Agadez, Sebha, Tamanrasset, or Kidal, look for the film soon. Whether on DVD, USB key, or a cellphone is up to you. Tastes may vary.


photo by Markus Milcke

end of year mix

It’s been a very busy 2014. We released a handful on vinyl releases, toured three times in Europe, traveled twice across the Sahel, and filmed the first ever Tuareg language film. In honor of things coming to an end and new beginnings, here’s a little year end mix. There are a couple of highlights from the past, but also a glimpse into the next year – with the release of Mdou Moctar’s film and soundtrack, new collaborations with Mississippi of Azawad folklore, lost and found recordings of Niger 70’s orchestras, electrified live wedding recordings from Nouakchott, and sublime electro-instrumental Tuareg synth.

Thanks again for your support!

mediafire link

Tracklist:

Mdou Moctar – Ambience
Fatou Seidi Ghali – Ilghadad
Mdou Moctar – Jagwa (live in Marseille)
Etran de l’Air – Etran Hymn
Hussein – Lebtait
Hama – Instrumental Jam
Abba Gargando – Kel Tamacheq
Yasin Nana – Timbouctou No. 1
Mamman Sani Abdoulaye – Salamatu 1997
Cheb Ziram – Issafara
Mamelon – Koumba Fri Fri (Gulls Slowed Version)
Mamman Sani – Lamru (El Mahdy Jr Remix)
Leila Gobi – Menaka
Fadimoutou Wallet Inamoud – Wana L’Ancien