After successful Kickstarter funding a year ago the first volume of “Music from Saharan Cellphones” was officially released, a brilliant look into the culture of sharing music on mobile phones in the Sahara. The release showcased a bunch of tunes collected off mobiles from the Northern Malian town of Kidal in 2010 by Christopher Kirkley. It explored how music moves freely around the region, not relying on releases, CDs or sound quality but the music itself, and fascinating music at that from Bamako to Algiers. Really one of the my favourite, and most surprising, releases from last year.
Since then, Kirkely has been hunting down more of the elusive artists that populated those fascinatingly mysterious SD cards and last week started another Kickstarter project to bring us Volume 2 in all its digital, vinyl and cassette glory.
Volume 2 continues in the same vein as the first volume, drawing on the underground network of popular Saharan tunes. They are also songs that tend towards DIY self production – from local Malian village rappers to Autotuned Tuareg guitarists.
The funding will make the release possible, offering pre-orders of the album, covering a portion of production costs, mastering, distribution, and payment for the artists. The wonderful thing about “Music for Saharan Cellphones…” is its strangeness, its mix of cultures, styles and sounds, moving and interacting as the people themselves are. It shouldn’t work but it really does. A great project that really deserves backing!