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Music  >>  Vinyl  >>  International

Rough Guide To Calypso Gold

Rough Guide To Calypso Gold

Rough Guide To Calypso Gold Rough Guide To Calypso Gold Import Gbr
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The Sahara is the world’s hottest desert where scorched sand dunes weave ribbon patterns from east to west and barbed mile-high mountain ranges jut skywards. The region equals out as almost the same size as the United States and spans a humungous 3,600,000 square miles across North Africa, from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Its photogenic undulating sandscapes have been home to wandering artists and storytellers for centuries. It’s no coincidence that the fable of the itinerant American bluesman bears striking resemblance to the lives of nomadic music-makers and griots (praise singers) living in the shadows of the Sahara. Deep resemblances across the Atlantic are the subject of musicologists’ cerebral research: consider Malian superstar Ali Farka Touré’s creative connection to a world of indigenous water spirits called Djimbala with Mississippian Robert Johnson’s legendary deal with a devil at those infamous crossroads. Consider the frailing playing technique and instrumental roots of the banjo which track back succinctly to the ngoni lute, the akonting harp and other traditional African stringed instruments. Consider the melismatic call and response patterns of traditional African song mirrored in the gutsy chorus patterns of downhome early African-American blues. Lest we get indulgently caught up in our historical research, let’s not forget the transaction has also been two-way. Contemporary blues music coming out of the Sahara region is of course today influenced by a host of musical movements; including the work of the African-American blues greats, the rock ‘n’ roll revolution, hip-hop, current affairs, digitization and more. Ali Farka Touré’s music was famously coined by Martin Scorcese ‘the DNA of the blues’. By that same stroke, Mariem Hassan’s commanding pitch-shifting calls, the hypnotic churning riffs of Toureg de Fewet and Modou Ould Mattalla’s guitar arabesques (recording complete with humming choir of desert crickets) may be considered the same. Samba Touré’s distinctive Malian style is widely regarded as the creative continuation of the late Ali Farka’s musical lineage, bending guitar and soulful song entwining. Today, as is tradition in the blues, much of the artistic subject matter covered by the musicians on this compilation is tied to searing pain and deep set troubles. A common source of shared concern in the Sahara being the religious and traditional factions that jostle pugnaciously against each other. January 2012 saw the beginnings of a Tuareg uprising in northern Mali. The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) were fighting for autonomous powers and had taken control of the Azawad region by April of the same year. A peace deal was signed in June 2013 but the situation remains tense. Western Sahara has been listed with the United Nations as a case of incomplete decolonization since the 1960s. The Saharawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, formally proclaimed the Saharawi Arab Democratic (SADR) in 1976 and continue to contest Morocco’s power in the region. Gaddafi’s ousting from the seat of power in Libya dominated the international news in 2011. In the same year, Egypt’s Tahrir square was flooded with protesters speaking out in mass against then-president Hosini Mubarak. Of course political passions inform musical expressions. Etran Finawata from Niger strive to promote unity - their band members are from both the Wodaabe and Tuareg ethnicities which have historically been rivals. Bammo Agonla & Tankari’s track is from a previously unreleased recording from a studio session with members of Etran Finatawa. Seeping out from these great sands of time, is some of best music on this planet today. Bluesy, brooding and bass-heavy – sink into The Rough Guide To Sahara Blues.
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