Monthly Archives: January 2011

the importance of a skypager.

Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol. 2 — more of the same, if not an increased selection of sounds from Mauritania (referred to as “Jagwa” collectively east of Shinqit). Again, all mp3s collected in the town of Kidal, the quintessential desert crossroad. Some of the track titles are lost to the id3 dustbin of history, but the tracklist is best replicated here, with a few creative flourishes:

Side A:
Mdou Moctar – Niger
Mouma Bob – Imidi
Amanar – Alghafiat
Fenomenal – Mix
Unknown Polisario Group – Moubedah

Side B:
DJ Mystral and DJ Siril – Pekele
Ùäê ÓêÏÍ ÙÈÏê áèæ
Yalah (Alpha Blondy cover in Arabic)
Lakal Kaney – Soul Tamasheq
Njib Ould N’Ghaimich – Guetna
Polisario unknown
Bayta Ag Bay – Aicha

download link

series of tubes

Found while researching Chadian music – a film that looks like a U.S. corporate work training video, complete with Budda Bar-esque soundtrack. The video is clearly a propaganda short for an alliance of Chadian anti-government rebels. What was particular about this video was the dance sequence that appears halfway through (at 2:54). What is this video? Where was it intended to be broadcast?

Writing about Africa a world away, the most appropriate research tool is the internet. It’s dynamic, but not necessarily useful, particularly with regards to portions of the world without the abundance of access necessary to forge a virtual identity, an internet facsimile of a culture. The authoritative (wiki) sites are authoritative for lack of competition, a dearth of information about parts of the world, offering the summation of an entire people or cultural creation sourced in a few brief words from a handful of self made experts, often outdated and reflective of another era. The next decades will undoubtedly see an explosion in global access: a Cyber Cafe on every corner. More self/locally produced media will be created, although the language division remains a massive barrier. For the moment, the least hindered by cross cultural accessibility due to language and ease of use is the living archive of video on Youtube.

Chadian cellphone video

While scouring the internet, watching the Youtube videos with bizarre foreign name, perhaps transliterated from some unrecognizable script, it’s encouraging to view them as windows into far off destinations and incomprehensible cultures. Or conversely as some modern ethnographic tool. Both are murky definitions and leave a questionable choice between two extremes.

the mastery of the web art of collection (and perhaps the best summation of this topic) is the very self conscious presentation at coolplacessoundsystem, a tumblr devoted to the collection of images and videos, often African, that share an origin of places both foreign and of limited internet visibility. The site is reflected in this brief trailer for a projection, a collection of Youtube videographic surfing:

*update from Tony from Coolplaces — see the comments*