Album Review

Music From Saharan Cellphones Vol. 2 [coll] – [Sahelsounds]

Naysayer   6/5/2013   12-inch, International

“Music From Saharan Cellphones Vol. 2” is exactly what it says. A continuation of the very interesting project from Sahelsounds which started with volume one, these are songs from the Sahel region of Africa. We are talking Sahara: Mali, parts of Egypt, northern Niger and Morocco. Due to a number of struggles (political, institutional, economic and technological as well as geographic) people from this area have decided to use cellphones as a music device, sharing or buying mp3’s of music from all over his part of the world. It is traditional and it is not. Music starts out with classic Malian sounds and then the auto- tuned vocalist begins singing. People are rapping in Tamashek. A child sings over the melody of an Alpha Blondy song about what animal to buy. There is Moroccan Rai sung by a female Cheba. There is Hip Hop from Mali and Niger. There is a song which is an ode to small buttocks. It’s all here and it rocks. The rhythmic, hypnotic beats, the elegant guitar playing, the high pitched vocalization all sets a mood for party time. It’s also a bit sad because most of this stuff is lost when the next thing comes along…. or when another political insurgency comes in to stop the evils of cellphone music. This is almost a museum piece. But do not treat it as such. Enjoy.

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