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Sahel Sounds

At Pioneer Works

by Les Filles de Illighadad

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Thibaut Devigne
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Thibaut Devigne Looping vocals and guitar patterns, with a bit of percussions. It's very hypnotizing, nearly leading to a trance. It is also finelly executed. I believe it must have been a particularly good live performance. Favorite track: Inssegh Inssegh.
Ecstatic M.D.
Ecstatic M.D. thumbnail
Ecstatic M.D. I.

The best thing about

village music is that life

becomes music. Here

II.

evidenced by the

mortar and pestle employed

as a working drum.

for more Very Good Haiku:

comeawaywithemd.com/very-good-haiku-a-2021-music-writing-experiment/
john_hazeveld
john_hazeveld thumbnail
john_hazeveld Finest example of the current music culture in the Sahel. Very powerful, raw, hypnotizing. Fantastic vocals supported by a guitar that goes on and on! Favorite track: Surbajo.
do-it-youssef
do-it-youssef thumbnail
do-it-youssef Wahoo ! Very good sound for this last and live album by "Les Filles de Illighadad", i'm waiting the concert at home !
Gert van der Straaten
Gert van der Straaten thumbnail
Gert van der Straaten I have another version of Surbajo by a band called Etran Finatawa, but this version is so much better. And it's not even the best song. Favorite track: Surbajo.
johnnypaddock
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johnnypaddock What a great performance and a beautiful recording. Each time I listen, I end up being entirely absorbed by it. Fantastic.
more...
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    The new album by Les Filles de Illighadad on 12" LP. Pressed by RTI in Camarillo, CA. Includes insert with lyric translations.

    Includes unlimited streaming of At Pioneer Works via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Les Filles de Illighadad's 'At Pioneer Works' on compact disc.

    Includes unlimited streaming of At Pioneer Works via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $12 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8 USD  or more

     

  • T-Shirt/Apparel + Digital Album

    Pre-order for Les Filles de Illighadad double sided t-shirt. Gold ink on black Next Level Apparel t-shirt.

    Includes unlimited streaming of At Pioneer Works via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $30 USD or more 

     

1.
Surbajo 05:12
What am I going to tell you? She is more beautiful than white clouds filled up from the great oceans where the lightning shines. What can I say about her teeth, which are brilliantly white. Her hair is as long as the stem of a tree full of water and bending. ++++++++++++ Madamzana tofa igarakan adonassnen danag garwan tahan Milowlawan Madzana as chenanet ar mezaki n massdaran ijakadnet ogdan ad lawaghan Eguess adashwanen tallagwen
2.
Eghass Malan 05:44
I prefer death or embers stuck to my heart or that my soul will be torn apart that it will be said in my community that I committed adultery. My best friend among women, One day she started to call out at night She wears her gold and then she removes her jewelry She is sick with shame. But I’ve seen even stranger things in the desert, I saw a beautiful woman married to a broken man. Her hand is in his hand and she walks through the community She has a yellow skin that protects her from the wind The whiteness of her teeth are bright. I prefer death or embers stuck to my heart or that my soul will be torn apart. ++++++++++++ Nak assofa ibah maday shimakaten iltaghnen tassanin, imanin tizalaben adikal dagh orchan As nak egharaben Adar n tamiditin dagh tadoden Afawtadou trigrag adawane tikan uragh net takass shizabaten takass shizabaten n tifasu shinitain Michan nak inaya imatti n ténéré Inaya akhshoud n tallillite ittaf awunan titaf afouss net tallil tamatay tarwak n ellam net adzimila titagaz- tu dagh adou timillay n echen net tikna aballizi Nak assofa ibah maday shimakaten iltaghnen tassanin, imanin tizalaben
3.
Telilit 11:06
I prefer death or embers stuck to my heart or that my soul will be torn apart that it will be said in my community that I committed adultery. My best friend among women, She went in the bush one night to meet a man One day she started to scream at night She wears her gold and she detaches her jewelry She is sick with shame. But I also saw the metamorphosis of the desert, I saw a beautiful woman married to a broken man. Her hand is in his hand and she walks through the community She has a yellow skin that protects her from the wind The whiteness of her teeth are bright. I prefer death or embers stuck to my heart or that my soul will be torn apart. ++++++++ Nak assofa ibah maday shimakaten iltaghnen tassanin, imanin tizalaben adikal dagh orchan As nak egharaben Adar n tamiditin dagh tadoden Afawtadou trigrag adawane tikan uragh net takass shizabaten takass shizabaten n tifasu shinitain Michan nak inaya imatti n ténéré Inaya akhshoud n tallillite ittaf awunan titaf afouss net tallil tamatay tarwak n ellam net adzimila titagaztu dagh adou timillay n echen net tikna aballizi Nak assofa ibah maday shimakaten iltaghnen tassanin, imanin tizalaben
4.
Chakalan 08:18
My friends Come back to me Until you see a blue car Who runs on the desert and between the mountains With its battery With its engine He travels in the country In Taranza’s journey They travel and they travel men travel ++++++++
5.
I spent the whole night meditating O Fatimah A painful meditation, listen to me listen to me, my dear, listen ++++++++ Ansaigh ansaigh samdarana Fatimah ikamin talyat asli talyat aslou ikamin talyat asli talyat aslou
6.
You Fatou who is there You said that this great noise of tendé How did you defeat her It was all a lie Tajiden cannot overcome anything Who could she defeat in tendé What is Tajiden used for I swear by Alhadi that she drank Yassin She drank Bismi She drank Alkhamdou They were written by the marabouts ++++++++ Kamou Fatou den Tanne matibibiwe den Mastadoutitarna den Adi koul bahou den Matorna Tajiden Matorna da tenday den Matinfa Tajiden Ma wan Alhadi den Ma tashwa Yassin Ma tashwa Bismi Ma tashwa Alkhamdou Ma win ashikhan

about

Les Filles de Illighadad comes from the village of Illighadad in a remote region of central Niger. Like many of the villages in the area, its borders are loosely defined, owing to the largely pastoral population. It rests on the shore of a seasonal pond that swells during the rainy season. The center of town has a well, some small houses, and a school. But most of Illighadad’s people live in the surrounding scrubland desert, in tiny patched roof houses or temporary nomadic tents, hidden among the trees.

Les Filles de Illighadad (“daughters of Illighadad”) was founded in 2016 by solo guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and renowned vocalist Alamnou Akrouni. In 2017 they were joined by Amaria Hamadalher, a force on the Agadez guitar scene, and Abdoulaye Madassane, rhythm guitarist and a son of Illighadad. Les Filles’ music draws from two distinct styles of regional sound, ancient village choral chants and desert guitar. The result is a groundbreaking new direction for Tuareg folk music and a sound that resonates far outside of their village.

To emerge from this small village to perform on stages around the world is no small feat, and is a testament to the band’s unique sound. But their home is more than their narrative. Illighadad is central to everything about the band, from their repertoire, the way they perform, the poetry they recite, even the way they sing. Music has always traveled in the Sahel, from poetry recited by nomads, scratchy AM radio broadcasts, to cell phone recordings sent over WhatsApp. Yet even today each village has its own style. When Les Filles perform, they play the music of Illighadad.

At the heart of Les Filles’ music is the percussion and poetry of tende—a term used for both the instrument and the type of music— whereby a mortar and pestle are transformed into a drum, and women join together in a circle, in a chorus of singing, chanting, and clapping. Sometimes it’s music for celebration, sometimes it’s music to heal the sick, sometimes it’s poetry of love. But it’s always music of people, where the line between performer and spectator breaks down. To be a witness is to be a participant, to listen is to join in the collective song.
It’s precisely this collectivism that makes the recording “At Pioneer Works” seem so natural and timeless. Recorded in the Fall of 2019, “At Pioneer Works” finds the band at the height of their touring career. Over two sold-out shows, the band brought Illighadad to New York, their first performance in the city. Speaking of the night, The New Yorker's music critic Amanda Petrusich writes: “The crowd in Brooklyn was entranced, nearly reverent. Les Filles’ music is mesmeric, almost prayer-like, which can leave an audience agog... whatever rhythm does to a human body—it was happening.”

There’s something bittersweet that it’s the sound of Illighadad that has propelled Les Filles’ to travel so far and so often. Playing on a stage 5000 miles from home, their performance evokes the village with a heavy ever-present nostalgia. In singing the songs of Illighadad, Les Filles’ invite the audience to share in the remembrance, to hear the poetry and driving tende, to stumble out into a night lit by a faint moon, joining in chants that carry over the nomad camps, in a call to come together and sing under the stars.

- Christopher Kirkley

credits

released July 9, 2021

Fatou Seidi Ghali - guitar | vocals
Alamnou Akrouni - percussion | vocals
Amaria Hamadalher - guitar | percussion
Abdoulaye Madassane - guitar | vocals

Produced by Christopher Kirkley and Ben Parrish
Co-Produced by Justin Frye
Recorded by Ryan Caruso, Osaro Ogedengbe, Bob Bellarue, Matthew Mann, and Kyle Keays Hagerman
Art Direction by Christopher Kirkley
Art and Design by Daniel Kent & Jesse Johanning
Photography by Walter Włodarczyk
Mixed by Jason Powers
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk
Text by Christopher Kirkley
Lyric Translation by Ali Tajoussir Ahmed
Les Filles de Illighadad Managed by Mathieu Petolla
Live Concerts presented by Pioneer Works
in Collaboration with Outer Ear Projects
© & ℗ 2021 Sahel Sounds in collaboration with Pioneer Works Press

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Les Filles de Illighadad Abalak, Niger

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