Etran Finatawa Introducing Etran Finatawa

Etran Finatawa Introducing Etran Finatawa
I don’t imagine Toareg or Wodaabe music has a very prominent spot on your iPod or CD tower, and you really couldn’t be blamed for not knowing the difference between an Ekenan and a camel. But when ten musicians from two nomadic tribes in Niger decided to cross the language and cultural barriers that divided them and form a band, they ended up creating a new blend of traditional and modern music that has begun to be heard around the world. Etran Finatawa combine songs from their separate Saharan traditions of camel and cow breeding, desert iconography, female beauty, healing and humour and then add a third musical layer: electric guitar. Introducing Etran Finatawa would have been an excellent desert crossroads album without Western influences but the contemporary structures of the songs and the sometimes overdriven guitar undeniably send this album over the top. At times, like an experimental Ali Farka Toure blues album ("Iledeman” and "Iriarer”), at others something completely unique, the heavy percussion, wandering guitar, impossibly eerie odiliri flute, the water-flooded calabashes and chorus of vocals make Etran Finatawa’s debut album one of the finest releases this year. One question remains, though: where do desert nomads plug in their amplifiers? (World Music Network)