Music From Saharan WhatsApp
Consider this. Here in the UK we tend to waste things. Minerals, metals, plastics, food, opportunities, feelings, privilege. Moments. In poorer countries nothing is wasted apart from the utterly unusable and, too often, other people’s lives.
Now consider this. Electricity is universal. Access to it is precious. But here in the UK we take it for granted. And the things it brings - the entertainment, the communication, the distribution. The information.
And finally, this. What is the modern world of the twenty first century? is it international travel, holograms, rich men in space? Ever more complex computers? Or is it the casual interaction with technology, the way that human minds meld with the noughts and ones that swap around in digital murmurations created by tiny processors?
Electricity. A generator. A mobile phone with a sound card loaded with music recorded on a mobile phone. A basic communication app (a WhatsApp) sending songs and beats across a huge northern swathe of an even huger continent, taking ideas, love stories, happenings, old stories with them. Impossibly complicated time signatures for casual English ears, a fuzz pedal. Reverb. A child singing, a young woman singing, a group of men chanting.
Africa is a massive continent filled with young people. It’s the future. When Cher and Metallica, when FKA Twigs, Jay-Z and Mark Knopfler are dusty memories on a heavenly jukebox in the Old White Lion of slow death, Africa will be hopping, gazillions of minute connections happening simultaneously between impossibly young and healthy people. And it will sound like this.
(Sahel Sounds split profits 50/50 like a good record label should. So you know when you buy some music at least half of what you pay will go to someone who probably won’t waste it on a Traeger-Timberline luxury barbecue grill.)
Grab Music from Saharan WhatsApp from Bandcamp here
Tim London is a musician, music producer and writer. Originally from a New Town in Essex he is at home amidst concrete and grand plans for the working class. Tim's latest thriller, Smith, is available now. Find out more at timothylondon.com
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