Ishilan n-Tenere: Guitar Music From the Western Sahel

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SahelSounds and Portland's Mississippi Records collaborated on this amazing compilation of field recordings of guitarists from Mali and Senegal. It's a beautiful limited release of 2,000 copies. Each record comes with a 12-page booklet containing a back story for each track. It's guitar music of the understated variety. These are songs played to one's family in one's house, or at the coffee shop, or in front of a bunch of random children who have gathered, who you can sometimes hear in the background. It's of a lower intensity than the ragged psychedelia of releases by Sublime Frequencies on the first few tracks, including the second, titled “Hommage a Ali Farka Toure”, the famous Malian bluesman. Then there's a pause for a field recording in the middle of children making popping and skipping mouth noises, followed by more smooth jams. Check it out below. SahelSounds is letting the digi-download go for $2 – you might as well take them up on it.