Amoumine, Agali Ag – “Takamba” – [Mississippi Records]
Agali “Ali” Ag Amoumine is not from Takamba, nor is he Sonrai, the ethnicity credited with the creation of Takamba music. Ali lives in Timbouctou, 150 miles up river. I’m not sure that matters much, because this recording of Ali on electrified terhardent accompanied by Alhassane Maiga on calabash kicks ass! Originally distributed on cassette and cell phones, Ali’s music is regularly played on the local radio station and is likely on memory cards into Niger, and now into KFJC’s library.
Occasional shouting and the distortion on Ali’s two-stringed terherdent make for long hypnotic psyche jams. The calabash keeps a low steady rhythm as the songs progress. They play a lot of takamba standards, but at least one, Hali Diallo, is an original about a Pulaar woman.
Side A tracks through to the end with a time of 19:36, and Side B seems to pause only once 8:38 into it with 11:48 remaining. You can either drop the needle anywhere, or my favorite, play the whole fucking side. Mix with it, play it alone, just throw it on a turntable already!