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.
This compilation will be available in 3 formats: 1- FREE digital download via bandcamp and our website. 2- A limited Edition cassette tape. (released by Mississippi Records.) 3- MicroSD card. (limited to 30- hand numbered cards, which we will be shipping to Kidal, Mali where they will be redistributed and uploaded into the vast web of digital musics.)
In addition, a limited edition 7” single of Mdou Moctar’s autotune masterpiece “Tahoultine” b/w Gulls remix,
will be co-released by Boomarm Nation and Sahel Sounds in November 2011, followed by a 12" LP of
"Music from Saharan Cellphones" by Sahel Sounds.