Heaven and the Sahel

Niger is quickly becoming a new hotbed (up to 40ºC) for innovative African music.  Explore fresh Nigerien sounds on this sandstream:

Among the many grooves, a song from the soundtrack to the first ever feature film in the Tuareg language – an improbable remake of Prince’s Purple Rain (and not only because there is no word for purple in Tuareg):

Stream the first hour’s global mix here:

Electroacoustic Soundscapes // Saharan Sandscapes

Genius or madman?

Genius or madman?

In this episode, we take a journey through the strange and wonderful world of electroacoustic music.  If extraterrestrials bothered to make music, it would likely sound like this..

Curated by Cameron Catalano, president of avant-garde composers guild Vancouver Pro Musica, the first hour bridges the gap between early pioneers of electronic wisdom, and the far out pop music that appropriated the style and brought it into the mainstream.

Hear the electronical sonical mayhem {{HERE}}

Group Doueh: Electric Desert Blues

The second hour takes us to a land split in two..  One of the most sparsely populated territories on the planet, in the north-western Sahara: Western Sahara.  While the majority of this former Spanish colony is still claimed by Morocco (when the Berlin Wall was beginning to crumble in the 1980s, the Moroccan government was busy building a fresh 2,700 km wall of sand to claim their territory) an independence movement has been simmering for decades, and many musicians featured on this program are supporters of the Polisario Front, the main organization fighting for a free nation.

Whether recorded in the Liberated Territories, the Southern States, or in exile, Saharawi soul transcends borders and breathes timelessness…

Hear the Western Saharan soundscape {{HERE}}

Playlist:: HERE

Chadians United!

chadiansChad: the country not the man.  A nation apart from the modern world, with struggles far more profound than the state of their music industry.  Yet with roughly 200 different ethnic groups and over 100 languages (French is widely spoken in the south, Arabic in the north), the diversity of music-making in Chad is ever present.  Perhaps in reaction to the neglect the country has received from the world community, Chadians have largely shunned modern music.  Other African rhythms, such as Congolese soukous, have seeped into the soundscape, but traditional instruments still hold sway.

The Chadian balafon has phallic calabashes hanging underneath which act as resonators to give a gritty, distorted sound:


And then there are Chadians living abroad, making fearless musical hybridity…

Listen to La Seconde Méthode’s sublime first album here.  Hovering somewhere between desert blues and post-rock.  Superbe.

Stream part 1: the Global Mix

Stream part 2: Chad