Tag Archives: remix

Amanar, Remixed

Amanar, the modern guitar Tuareg band from Northern Mali has been featured frequently on this site (1, 2) and numerous vinyl compilations. Their 2008 sessions, recorded locally in Kidal, are high energy guitar pop. While inspired by the preceding repertoire of guitar music, the album marked a departure from the mold of Western conceptions of Tuareg rock. Celebrated by the youth, Amanar rose to the status of town band in the desert capital of Kidal.

French label Reaktion released the sessions of Alghafiat in 2010 for digital download. This year, in collaboration with Portland label Little Axe Records, we’ve pressed 1000 copies on vinyl. Drawing on some of the original artwork for the release, the text of the album is in Tifinagh, as well as the liner notes, which were fastidiously translated by Hamza Mohamed Fofo, probably the world’s leading expert on the script.

I thought it might be time for a remix competition. I’ve been sitting on the original files, possibly the only copies since the studio was recently destroyed by extremists. The song “Tenere,” (“desert” in the Tamashek language) was a hit in the Kidal concerts. The lyrics contain inherent messages like most guitar songs, this one invoking the desert in the metaphorical sense as a place of retreat: “It’s better to be alone than with a bad friend.”

Amanar – Tenere (original)

You can download the stems here.

Remix or reinterpret, and send the completed file back (please include your name in the file). The remixes will go up on a Bandcamp EP for free download. Maybe if there’s a real great one we can talk about putting out a 7″. Please get your remix in by October 1st – you can send them via email to ckirkley (at) gmail.com. Happy remixing!

tahoultine, chopped and skyped

Mdou Moctar (pronounced “M”-”Doh”) is from Abalak, Niger. A few years back, he traveled to Sokoto, Nigeria to record an album. A curious feature was addition of Autotune, something the studio engineer suggested. The resulting eight songs, all spaced out Autotuned Tamashek guitar (quite possibly the first time ever) were never official released, but disseminated throughout West Africa through that subtle network of cellphones and memory cards. His songs, especially the love anthem “Tahoultine” (“girlfriend” in Tamashek), are hugely popular across the Sahel, particularly on the cellphones of younger Tuareg.

The Western commercial release of “Tahoultine” is a similar route of media interchange. It was featured on the “Music from Saharan Cellphones” cassette, followed by a cassette of remixes (available here), followed by an LP, and now a 7″ single. The 500 edition of 7″s features a remix by Portland producer Gulls on the flip – order/stream it here.

Mdou Moctar – Tahoultine

Mdou Moctar -Tahoutine (Gulls Edit)

Matthew David – Stealing Sahara

Brainstorm – Tahoultine (cover)

I recently chatted with Mdou and in lieu of being on site, we decided to do some recordings in the most appropriate/only available technique — via skype-out to cellphone to Abalak, Niger. Note that Mdou is playing both percussion and guitar on these recordings: a version of Tahoultine, performed live, and a new love song, “Lance of Love.” I’ll be joining Mdou in a month or two, so expect some more hi-fi recordings soon….

Mdou Moctar – Tahoultine (live via skype)

Mdou Moctar – Lance of Love (live via skype)