Ahmed Sidi Bella’s Tidnit

Ahmed Sidi Bella - Bundja (tidnit) Ahmed Sidi Bella - Wezen (guitar) I first met Ahmed Sidi Bella, way back in 2009, during my first field recordings. At the time, he only had a tidnit and a child's size nylon string guitar. With trepidation, I put the microphone in the…

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Azna de L’Ader Desert Disco

Azna de L'Ader - Adawi Azna de L'Ader - Jan Marké There is something mysterious about the musical archive. It holds a lot of promise. Where live performance - the way music was existed for millennia prior to physical medium - is immediate and experiential, media rendered to medium (physical,…

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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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Mdou Moctar & the Band Go America

This Spring 2018, Mdou Moctar is back on Tour across the USA. You can check out full dates here. It's a long tour with around 30 shows. We'll be back in the studio working on a new album. And if all goes well, they'll be a new film at the…

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Takamba WhatsApp on March 28th, 2018

Takamba music is played on traditional guitar (tamashek: teheredent), with a remarkable distinctive rhythm tapped out on a calabash. It's always accompanied by a beautiful ghostly dance. I've written about the music previously and released a few records. The origin of the music remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. Suffice to…

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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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