Tag Archives: music from saharan cellphones

kickstarters for vinyl of music from saharan cellphones

The new proverb says “all roads lead to Kickstarter,” and I’ve joined the fray in this latest push — to bring “Music from Saharan Cellphones” to a vinyl.

In a rather ironic twist the musicians whose sounds were found on communication devices are incredibly difficult to locate. Google search algorithms notwithstanding, the network of cellphones and music trading and even communication exists fiercely independent of the global internet network. The project has been an exercise in Sisyphean patience, flinging messages out in bottles every few months or so: Facebook queries to whomever lives in the composer’s city, Skype out calls to numbers in blurry CD scans across six or seven countries, Youtube comments on every video containing a fragment of a song, and finally a few face to face meetings in Bamako with a handful of Mali’s stars (I regrettably had to give up on Cheba Wasila when every phone number for her studio listed seemed to be answered by confused Moroccan grandmothers).

But enough of the past. I’ve got a crew of artists and their songs together, and we’re making a record. The vinyl will be an amalgam of the first two cassette volumes, remastered, accompanied by liner notes with a short bio of all the artists. It’s an initial run of 2,000 copies — also to be available on bandcamp. The kickstarter is clear and simple — pre-orders of the vinyl available at $15 shipping included, to be wrapping up around end of October. Inchallah.

Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol. 1

Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol. 2

tracklist from music from saharan cellphones

This little cassette of music (“Music from Saharan Cellphones”) collected from cellphones has been in internet circulation lately (update — and the Guardian UK). Pitchfork did a nice write-up on the phenomena of “musical scarcity”, Rupture at Mudd Up! has given it some blog/radio play, and Portland’s own Gulls put together this remix of one of the tracks:

Niger Autotune (Emsitka) — Gulls Edit

Just to clarify, the music was not collected from “discarded” or “abandoned” cellular phones as has been reported. It’s sort of funny, the notion that one could find memory cards or cellphones lying around in the trash. No, although an interesting story, the music was simply copied. In the effort of cultural exchange, I traded for a few Townes Van Zandt albums; we’ll see if they’ve survived next time I’m back in Kidal.

The somewhat ambiguous tracklist was a result of ID3 tags and guesswork. First world internet access and Facebook feedback have helped to clarify a few things, and here’s the updated tracklist (more details as they come available):

side A:

01 – Group Anmattaf – Tinariwen (Tamaransett, Algeria)
02 – Hasso Akotey – Amidinine (Niger – myspace)
03 – Mdou Moctar – Tahoultine (Niger/Nigeria)
04 – Koudede – Souveniram (Niger – myspace)
05 – Hamdawa – Salaouat Nabina (Meknes, Morocco – awesometapes)
06 – Cheb Hamza and Cheba Wasila (Morocco)

side B:

01 – Kaba Blon – Moribayassa (Bamako, Mali)
02 – ?
03 – Yeli Fuzzo – Abande (Bamako, Mali – facebook)
04 – ?
05 – Joskar and Flamzy – Faroter (Ivory Coast)
06 – Aminata Wassidje – Tamala (Dire, Mali)
07 – Papito feat. Iba One – Yereyira (Bamako, Mali)

download here via ghostcapital