April 5 will be a big day in this house, as the French-Tunisian troupe Ifriqiyya Électrique will be dropping a new album. Bandcamp Daily’s Catalina Maria Johnson does a fine job prepping us for this momentous event. To be honest, I’m surprised more music isn’t coming from Tunis, a place which has a rich musical heritage. If there are more musicians like this running around Tunis or in the diaspora, it’d be great to hear them.
There seems to be an explosion of bands from the Tuareg regions and North Africa in general these days. Bargou 08 hail from the Tunisian side of the Bargou Valley region which sits on the border with Algeria. They are a modernized version of local traditional music, from what I understand. Very impressive.
While working as a buyer at Aron’s Records in Hollywood during my youth, I came across ECM Records. Up until then, the only thing I had ever heard off of the label was Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert. As I was able to listen to promo versions of new releases, I came across Anouar Brahem, but forgot about him for over a decade. My friend, Max Franosch, whose photographs grace a few classic ECM releases, reminded by of his work via a post several years ago, and I’ve been following his music intently ever since.