New Internationalist

Introducing Etran Finatawa

August 2006

by Etran Finatawa

From the first moment that a Wodaabe man danced across the screen of Werner Herzog’s film, Herdsmen of the Sun (1988), it was clear that these painted Saharan nomads had star quality and they had it in buckets; further exposure was only a matter of vhen. To be fair, Introducing Etran Finatawa (‘Stars of Tradition’) is about much more than good looks. The annual Festival in the Desert in Mali has whetted an international appetite for the polyphonic songs of the region, and Et ran Finatawa certainly deliver.

A debut from a 1o-strong group of Tuareg and Wodaabe male nomads, there’s much merit in its high-tempo, ear on the ear arrangements of traditional sounds. When electric guitars are used they become percussive tools for powering the winding rhythms of the chanting songs and ululations. Significantly, the traditions and languages of the Tuareg and Wodaabe are markedly different, but there’s a common currency in their nomadic lifestyles and this helps bridge any distinctions. Introducing Etran Finatawa is a delicately put together album and its helpful translations and sleeve notes enrich the experience of the music. There are healing songs, songs about cows escaping, camel paeans and songs to pretty women: ‘Your teeth shine like sugar when it is breaking,’ runs a lyric in ‘A Dunya’. It’s detail like this that charms.

This column was published in the August 2006 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Introducing Etran Finatawa

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Introducing Etran Finatawa Fact File
Product information World Music Network Intro105 CD
Star rating3
Product link http://www.worldmusic.net/home/features/etran.html

Get our free fortnightly eNews

Multimedia

Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Music

All Music

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 392

New Internationalist Magazine issue 392
Issue 392

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe