A compilation in aid of the refugees from Northern Mali
On January 17th insurgents fighting for the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA) attacked the town of Menaka in the far east of Mali. The fighting soon spread all over the deserts of northern Mali, provoking the most serious crisis that the country has faced since independence in 1960.
Tens of thousands of Touareg, Songhoi, Peulh and Arab people fled from the fighting to the relative safety of neighboring countries like Niger, Algeria, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. Riots in Bamako, Kati and other southern towns also forced Touareg and Arabs living in there to escape abroad.
The result is the worst refugee crisis in the southern Sahara for decades. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs now claims that at least 280.000 people have been driven from their towns, villages and camps by want and fear. Many of them of them are eking out an existence in camps across the border in Algeria, Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso. For them, life is on hold. Their animals and possessions have gone. Their future has narrowed down to the next handout from a government or NGO. And over the horizon drought and famine are looming.
'Songs For Desert Refugees' is a benefit album whose aim is to raise funds for refugees in and around the rural communities of Aguel’hoc and Tessalit in the north east Mali. Both villages have seen the fiercest fighting in this conflict and their nomadic populations are in severe distress. Many families have lost everything.
'Songs For Desert Refugees' features a superb mix of desert music, including rare or unreleased tracks by some of the world best known Touareg groups, from Mali (Tinariwen, Tamikrest, Terakaft, Tartit...), Niger (Bombino, Toumast, Etran Finatawa) or Algeria (Nabil Baly Othmani, Faris).
The music on this compilation is the sound of what the Malian deserts can be; intense, joyful, beautiful, proud, poetic and peaceful. It is dedicated to all those who are working to make it so again.
All proceeds from the sale of this CD will go to two trusted NGOs who work with refugees in Northern Mali. The first is called TAMOUDRÉ and it works with nomads in the pastures around Tessalit, scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the recent months. TAMOUDRÉ helps these nomads to make their livelihoods more prosperous and secure, socially, economically and culturally.
The other NGO is called ETAR. It supports education projects and helps to protect and disseminate the beauty of Tamashek culture and to develop cultural exchanges between the desert and Europe. It is currently raising funds to build a cultural centre in Aguel’hoc, another community that has suffered a great deal in this war.
The money raise will be used for food, blankets and medicines. All involved in producing the album are giving their services for free.
01. TINARIWEN Amous Idraout Assouf d'Alwa
02. TAMIKREST Warktifed
03. IBRAHIM DJO EXPERIENCE Blues du Désert [part 1]
04. FARIS & TERAKAFT Derhan Alkher
05. NABIL BALY OTHMANI Teswa Ténéré [desert version]
06. AMANAR Ténéré
07. TADALAT Taghdart
08. ETRAN FINATAWA Gourma
09. TERAKAFT Nak Essanagh
10. TOUMAST Aïtma
11. BOMBINO Tigrawahi Tikma [live version]
12. TARTIT Tihou Beyatene
"The music is fascinating, showcasing younger Malian bands like Tamikrest and the Ibrahim Djo Experience."
"Several artistic projects in different parts of the world are trying to help people affected by the violence in northern Mali. One of these projects is co-ordinated by French record producer Sedryk who got together some of his colleagues from the music industry in order to compile an album with the goal of financially helping non-governmental organisations which are working in the region."
"A superb sampler of the finest sounds from the Touareg cultural renaissance."
"The music is uniformly excellent. An experimental Tinariwen offcut is the pick, yet contributions from Tartit, Bombino and Terakaft are both thrilling and the riposte to those who think the desert blues all sound the same"
"The record pulls together artists old and new from the legendary Tuareg guitar scene and, listeners will quickly discover, it remains a scene in rude health ... An excellent compilation."
"The beautiful project is the result of generous musicians and music lovers who aim to remind the world of the poetic and peaceful aspects of Malian desert life."
World Music Network
"Among the 12 outstanding songs on the record, Tinariwen are on typically robust form with the alluring sway of opening track, Bombino contributes a stunning 13-minute live guitar work-out and Ibrahim Djo plays a mesmerizing blues. Buy this record, both for the music and to help the people of northern Mali."
"There is excellent electric guitar a-plenty and that magic feeling of vast space. Great music for a good cause."
London Evening Standard
"Many of the best tracks are from across the border in Niger, with an engaging, rhythmic contribution from Etran Finatawa, and a remarkable 13-minute live work-out from Bombino, proving why he is the desert's new guitar hero."
"This incredible compilation brings together some of the best desert music from Mali (Tinariwen, Tamikrest, Terakaft, Tartit…), Niger (Bombino, Toumast, Etran Finatawa) and Algeria (Nabil Baly Othmani, Faris)."
Splinters & Candy
"De combinatie van bluesakkoorden met Afrikaanse percussie en Arabisch aandoende zang klinkt tegelijkertijd aards en mystiek, en stralen zowel levensvreugde als weemoed uit. (...) Het is haast onvoorstelbaar dat zulke ellende iets van dergelijke pracht kan voortbrengen."
"Gutes hören - und dabei Gutes tun"