Best New Music from West Africa and the Sahel, 2013

by ptinti


2013 brought us some incredible new music from West Africa and the Sahel. In no particular order, here is a list of the top albums that would make a great gift for that special, music junkie someone in your life.

Oumara “Bombino” Moctar’s 2011 release, Agadez, received acclaim that was as widespread as it was uncritical. I enjoyed Agadez but couldn’t help but feel that the edge of Bombino’s live performances got lost somewhere within the packaging and press releases.

2013’s Nomad is a stronger album and does a much better job of coupling Bombino’s virtuosity with the raw energy that fans familiar with his live performances and pre-Agadez recordings have came to love. The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach produced this album and not everyone is thrilled with the results.

Though it certainly has more “Western” influence than its predecessor, Nomad is no less true to Bombino’s sound than Agadez.

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