Tuareg Guitar

Tuareg guitar has become one of the most popular folk music in the contemporary Sahara. Originally political ballads, created in exile in Libya, today the sound has expanded to encompass everything from introspective love songs, blistering psychedelic rock, and synthesizer and drum machine. At its core, the music still relies on poetry to transmit a message, carried by the pentatonic solos of a guitar.

Browse the Sahel Sounds archive below for an extensive collection of posts, recordings, and albums about the genre.

Moussa Tchingou, Zone Touareg

Moussa "Tchingou" Eggour is one of the most ambitious younger (under 25) Agadez Tuareg guitarists, eager for success. Raised in the midst of the Saharan internet revolution, he runs his own social media (something that the older crop of musicians don't know how to do). He has his own Youtube…

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Zerzura Original Soundtrack Recording

Zerzura (Original Soundtrack Recording) by Ahmoudou Madassane In 2016, we created a film titled Zerzura. The story concerns a young man Ahmoudou Madassane, disillusioned with the pastoral life. He sets off for the city, where he learns of his brother's mysterious disappearance. His journey leads him on an unexpected quest,…

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Etran de L’Aïr – No. 1

We've just wrapped up the new album from Agadez wedding band Etran de L'Aïr. Recorded in 2014, and featured previously here on the blog, it's been a long time coming. Even longer, if you consider the history of the band. The music scene in Agadez is still dominated by weddings.…

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Dire Straits in the Sahara

I first wrote about Dire Straits popularity in the Sahara back in 2009 and later advised for an article in Africa is a Country. Though I've found lots of mp3s of "Sultans of Swing" on cellphone memory cards, and old cassettes buried in record stores, this was the extent of…

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Mdou Moctar – Sousoume Tamachek

Sousoume Tamachek by Mdou Moctar Mdou Moctar's new album, Sousoume Tamachek, is now available! In the past years, Tuareg rock music, particularly that of Niger, has gotten faster. There is a preference for this new sound - both in the raucous weddings of Agadez and in Berlin rock clubs. The…

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Sousoume Tamachek Teaser Vid

? We put together this little preview video for Mdou Moctar's upcoming album "Sousoume Tamachek." The album was recorded in Portland, Oregon, and we brought in a range of local talent in the recording, working with Jason Powers from Type Foundry and Jesse Johnson at Boomarm Nation. But the album…

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