Music From and For Saharan Cellphones

Chris Kirkley (Sahel Sounds) went to Mali and Mauritania spent time traveling and collecting this fascinating music (especially that auto-tuned Moroccan chaabi!) and when he returned home in 2010 he made it available first on a limited edition cassette distributed by the ever-amazing Mississippi Records and then as a free download titled Music From Saharan Cellphones. I'll let Chris tell the story:
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.

Now, 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.
You can download the entire collection from Boomarm Nation's website for free with the option of donating. Keep an eye out for a Mississippi cassette release, a 7" and a 12" LP version sometime later this month.


1. irel.ier - Yeli Fuzzo-"Abande" Remix 04:22
2. Gulls - Mdou Moctar-"Tahoultine" Remix 04:30
3. Matthewdavid - Stealing Sahara 02:38
4. E*Rock - Aminata Wassidje - "Tamala" Remix 03:50
5. PRFCT STRNGR - Yeli Fuzzo - "Abandé" Remix 04:47
6. Michael Bruce - Cheb Hamza and Cheba Wasila - Remix 04:17
7. The Thriftshop Sampler - Group Anmataff - "Tinariwen" Remix 04:45
8. Brainstorm - Mdou Moctar-"Tahoultine" Cover 04:48
9. Mike M. - Group Anmataff-"Tinariwen" Remix 04:11
10. Shapeworship - Jagwa 06:38
11. dontDJ - Auguste Solo - Remix 04:18
12. Teleseen - Hamdawa-"Salaouat Nabina" Remix 04:33
13. Studio Geordie - Group Anmataff-"Tinariwen" Remix 04:29
14. Leech - Papito feat. Iba One-"Yereyira" Remix 04:35
15. Marisa Anderson - Variation on Group Anmataff-"Tinariwen" (Flight) 04:27
16. Ensemble Economique - Abdallah, Desert Blues EDGE of the DUNES Remix 06:42
17. RBLU - FLWRS 03:49