Les Filles De Illighadad: Eghass Malan (Sahel Sounds, 2017)
A certifiable alternative for Tinariwen fans and for fans of West African music in general. The rhythm here is stripped way down to foot stomps and handclaps as a rule with multiple guitars and female vocalists. The emphasis here is on a beautiful trance and less on whipping up some desert electric blues epic jam. The atmosphere is pretty intimate with circular guitar playing that can really bliss you out if you let it.
I’ve been on a bit of a bender comparing music to movies and there is an observation here. I was looking at the New Yorker’s best films of 2017 and there was a documentary about rats in Baltimore. It’s a very small film but it does a highly effective job discussing rats, rat behavior, racial history in America, capitalism, and American subcultures all viewed through the lens of rats in Baltimore.
In the same way, this is a small record that does a lot with a small ensemble that remains true to their intentions.
Check it out!