Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Group Inerane: Guitars From Agadez [Sublime Frequencies, 2007]
Recorded live, which beats the radio tapes with which this label began propagating international obscurities, 28-year-old Tuareg guitarist Bibi Ahmed, two male sidemen and four female singers lively up the wedding dance in and around war-torn Inerane in northern Niger. Featuring loads of that Saharan keening we may tire of eventually, with a repertoire that owes a lot to Bibi's teacher Abdallah Oumbadougou (known here solely via the documentary DVD Desert Rebel), this is rough, wild and joyful in a way you can hear as well as read about. Ask him, and Ahmed will go on about cultural preservation--they all do in a pinch. But in the musical fact he's seldom somber about it. He's got this wedding to play, you see. A-