Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla, Mauritanian Synth & the Internet

I was first introduced to Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla while living in Nouakchott. His mauritanian synth became the soundtrack to nearly every taxi ride through the desert capital, a sublime ambiance to a country that I couldn't (and still can't) wrap my head around. In contrast to the weddings with their…

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…

it takes two – waande kadde & top wzn

Starting off this new year with two new releases: Waande Kadde, dreamy acoustic Pulaar music from the villages of Fouta Toro, and Top WZN, synth, drum machines, and electric tidnit from the capital city of Mauritania. While they are immediately sonically different, they bear more similarities than one may suspect.…

nouakchott wedding songs

In 2011, I traveled to Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania to record wedding music. Over the course of six months, I went to a variety of weddings: from the luxurious, high end invitations in the chic neighborhoods of Tevragh Zeina, to the ramshackle tent affairs in far flung suburbs…

abba’s home recordings, or how whatsapp is changing everything (pt 1)

The sand in Mauritania always carries the scent of the sea. You can tell you're far from the iron-rich dust of Timbouctou. Sitting under a tent in a wide empty space of sand and brush, dominated by hulking concrete half finished mansions, I meet with Tuareg guitarist and longtime collaborator…

timbouctou no. 1

? The first time I met Yacine Ould Nana was in a crumbling mansion in the posh neighborhood of Nouakchott. I was sitting on the floor recording the rambling songs of his brother when he marched in. "39th and Lexington," he said, to my confusion, and then launched into his…