Various Artists

Music from Saharan Cellphones

Sahel Sounds SS003LP
  • LP : 2015 Edition
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Music from Saharan cellphones is a compilation of music collected from memory cards of cellular phones in the Saharan desert.

In much of West Africa, cellphones are are used as all purpose multimedia devices. In lieu of personal computers and high speed internet, the knockoff cellphones house portable music collections, playback songs on tinny built in speakers, and swap files in a very literal peer to peer Bluetooth wireless transfer.

The songs chosen for the compilation were some of the highlights -- music that is immensely popular on the unofficial mp3/cellphone network from Abidjan to Bamako to Algiers, but have limited or no commercial release. They're also songs that tend towards this new world of self production -- Fruity Loops, home studios, synthesizers, and Autotune.

In 2010, various versions of saharan cellphone music were released on cassette. Many of the songs were unlabeled, giving no insight to their mysterious origins. In the past year, the artists have been tracked down to collaborate on a commercial release. As such, 60% of the proceeds go directly to the artists.

Various Artists: Music from Saharan Cellphones

Group Anmataff Tinariwen
Yeli Fuzzo Abandé
Amanar Alghafiat
Negib Ould Ngainich Guetna
Papito ft. Iba One Yereyira
Mdou Moctar Tahoultine
Kaba Blon Moribiyassa
Joskar and Flamzy Faroter
Bayta Ag Bay Aicha

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