Recorded in the middle of Etran Finatawa’s 2009 European tour, the group’s 2010 album Tarkat Tajje/Let’s Go! reveals an incredible new groove, mature voices and sophisticated lyrics. They have created a unique sound with which to voice their ideas and concerns regarding their endangered traditional way of life.
Their previous album, Desert Crossroads, was an exploration of the realities of being a nomad in a changing society. This new album reaches a whole new philosophical level, as the band begins to explore their role as human beings, and cultural ambassadors, in a society of continuous global change.
Written by Alhousseini, the track ‘Aitma (Brother)’ is an appeal to all men and women of all races and nations to start celebrating their shared similarities, instead of only seeing the differences. While in ‘Kalamoujar (Brotherhood)’, Etran Finatawa pays tribute to those men who come together to stand and defend their ideas. Another political song, ‘Ummee Ndaaren (Stand Up And Go For The Right Thing)’ was inspired by Bagui’s experience in his community, and implores people to stand up and react when the wrong leader has been appointed.
,‘Diam Walla (No Water)’ is a song reflecting the problems that desert communities have when there is no water and the temperatures continue to rise. In Tamashek, ‘Gourma’ means ‘forest’, and this song is about how the forest – traditionally where nomadic people live during the cold season – is reclaiming its people back from the refugee camps.
This album is more than a statement. It is Etran Finatawa’s appeal to a global consciousness and to the decision makers and reactors all over the world. As Alhousseini says in the song ‘Imuzaran’:
Those who are leading the world
pay attention to the tears of the children of this world
that you are spending every morning
and the tears of the women and the men.
Etran Finatawa, meaning ‘the stars of tradition’, are the only group in the world to combine the cultures of the Wodaabe (distinctive for their striking face paints) and Tuareg (renowned around the world as desert nomads) people from Niger. The Wodaabe culture adds an incredible vibrancy to the music, with distinctive polyphonic singing and mesmerizing percussion adding another layer to the Tuareg traditions. Together, they draw on their shared experience as nomads of the Sahelian savannah to produce an explosion of desert blues, full of acoustic percussion and haunting melodies.
Through their unique brand of desert blues, Etran Finatawa has enchanted audiences the world over, touring extensively throughout Europe, North America, Africa and the Pacific. In 2010 they embark on a new tour of Europe and North America.
Tour Dates 2010
- 02 March Bad Honnef, Germany
- 03 March Düsseldorf, Germany
- 04 March Remscheid, Germany
- 05 March Dortmund, Germany
- 06 March Siegen, Germany
- 07 March St. Augustin, Germany
- 10 March Koeln, Germany
- 11 March Bonn, Germany
- 12 March Thun, Switzerland, tbc
- 13 March Switzerland, tbc
- 15 March Hattingen, Germany
- 16 March Hamm, Germany
- 17 March Herford, Germany
- 18 March Wuppertal, Germany
- 19 March Detmold, Germany
- 23 March Kempen, Germany
- 25 March Guetersloh, Germany
- 26 March Neuchatel, Switzerland, tbc
- 27 March Fribourg, Switzerland, tbc
- 28 March Switzerland, tbc
- 30 March Kleve, Germany
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Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central