Etran De L'Air - No. 1
Translating to the “stars of the air”, Etran De L’Air is one of the biggest and best wedding bands in the northeast of Niger, from the home of the “desert blues” sound of Western Africa; Agadez. They’ve been a band since 1995 but this LP on Sahelsounds represents their very first recordings, captured live on the outskirts of Agadez with all the various locals and onlookers voicing their approval.
Their sound is based on the sound of 3 interwoven electric guitars alongside the continuous pounding of their drummer and call-and-response vocals. This is pure party music and it’s not hard to imagine Etran De L’Air being the best group to attend your wedding party. When the band started in the mid 90’s, electricity was not commonplace in Agadez making electric guitars themselves pretty rare. But as the town developed, so to did the bands’ music taking the style of Ali Farka Toure and Oumou Sangare and merging it with their version of surf rock. It’s easy to get lost and transfixed with the rhythm though rhythmic movement is a definite side-effect as well.
Another beautiful release from Sahelsounds, presented in a lovely offset sleeve. Edition of 1k. (Dom)
Check out the music and visuals of the band here.