Their music which defines rural Niger is called «Tende”, named after a drum-like instrument fashioned from a goat skin stretched over an empty mortar. In fact, its sound, among its many qualities, is known to seduce the nomadic tribes’ camels into dancing…you’ll follow suit we predict. The themes of the songs are mainly about romantic love or express respect for their ancestral Tuareg forebearers. The sound is an intoxicating, seductive amalgam of deceptively simple compositions built on a few elements, brought to life with polyphonic singing, rhythmic handclapping and driving percussion through the pounding of the calabash. Today, hypnotic guitar riffs have been adding a whole new contemporary - even rock - dimension to this traditional art. Mainly due to the fact that the guitar was introduced and integrated. Actually, it was introduced only in recent times by Tuaregs who had left for foreign countries and who returned and brought the instrument with them back home. You may have heard that this new edition of Tuareg music has become very popular in the Northwest because of desert blues acts like Tinariwen, Bombino, Mdou Moctar, some of them through their visits here.
The sensual sirens of the desert are led by Fatou Seidi Ghali, whose beauty is matched by her guitar play which is now at such a level of mastery on the e-guitar as it is on the a-guitar. Like her bandmates Alamnou Akroumi and Madassane Ahmoudou, she’s from the secluded town of Illighadad in Central Niger, only reachable through a grueling bus drive, or on a dancing camel if you prefer. When you get there, expect no running water or electricity but you will experience a cacophony of human and desert sounds, especially at night. You realize the desert doesn’t just live – it makes music. Please check out their current and first ever studio album «Eghass Malan» (2017, on Sahel Records) which was written up as «beautiful, life-affirming music that sounds like nothing else around».
The hypnotic Les Filles de Illighadad, live at El Lokal. Sensual therapy for stressed-out Zwinglitown burghers.