Sahel Sounds: This little cassette of music collected from cellphones has been in internet circulation lately (update — and the Guardian UK). Pitchfork did a nice write-up on the phenomena of “musical scarcity”, Rupture at Mudd Up! has given it some blog/radio play, and Portland’s own Gulls put together this remix of one of the tracks:
Niger Autotune (Emsitka) — Gulls Edit
Boomarm Nation: In 2010 returning from extensive travel in Mali and Mauritania, Chris Kirkley (Sahel Sounds) presented “Music from Saharan Cellphones”. The music on the compilation was collected from cellphones in the Northern Malian town of Kidal. In much of West Africa, cellphones are are used as all-purpose multimedia devices. In lieu of personal computers and high speed internet, cellphones house portable music collections, playback songs on tiny built-in speakers, and swap files through peer-to-peer Bluetooth wireless transfer. The songs collected in Kidal range from DIY Tuareg guitar, auto-tuned Moroccan chaabi, Malian coupé décalé, and fruityloop hip hop.
Originally released as a limited run cassette tape by Mississippi Records in Portland OR, the cassette was uploaded to blogs and online media hubs, and quickly became a viral source of new and inspiring sounds.
On Oct.10 2011 Boomarm Nation and Sahel Sounds present: “Music For Saharan Cellphones”. Drawing on gifted producers and musicians from a variety of stylistic backgrounds and nationalities, each artist selected and re-interpreted a musical moment from the source material. From bass laden sound/clash ventures, abstract re-creations, and even an amazing autotune cover, the end result holds a rich assortment of well informed musical statements. Reflecting the energy and fidelity of its origins, these versions take on their own rare and exciting form. Using the mp3 as the medium, the Music and the Musicians become the diplomacy.
Music FROM Saharan Cellphones
Music FOR Saharan Cellphones