Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mdou Moctar/Brainstorm on Sahel Sounds Records

Truly out there release I got notice of last week from the Portland based Brainstorm. They teamed up with Sahel Sounds to reinterpret Nigerian Mdou Moctar's "Anar". It's a crazy collaboration based on Mdou's plinky acoustic sounding metal string melodies and his out of control autotuned vocals fluttering around all over the track. Using the completely unnatural vocal effect in this completely over the top way somehow makes perfect pushing this technique into a whole new area. The human voice is almost erased completely and transformed into some kind of synth sound. The contrast between his powerful clanging plucking style, backup vocals and synth voice creates an uncalculated bizarre future sound.
Brainstorm entitled their track "Vanessa" and semi-translated the track, reworking it into some kind of heavy warble, underwater tropical Ducktails feel, layers and layers of percussion and that island groove with a slighter autotune at times. Related but completely changed, a perfect use of the 7" format to overwhelm with the A-Side's underground weirdness and then reel you back in with the reinterpretation. I have no idea how related this is to their full length, but they got my attention... let alone this being a split and introducing the otherworldly Mdou to an entirely new audience.

We've teamed up with the incredible Nigerien musician Mdou Moctar to release a split 7-inch record, containing his original auto-tuned love ballad "Anar," as well as our reinterpretation of the song entitled "Vanessa." In 2011, Moctar's obscure love songs first graced western ears thanks to Sahel Sounds Records, who discovered his music being traded on cellphone SIM cards in Saharan Africa, and subsequently released a series of compilations debuting the songs. Immediately inspired, BRAINSTORM dove headfirst into our re-workings of the songs. Having no sense of the lyrical content, due to language barrier, we transcribed the lyrics phonetically (writing English lyrics that most closely resembled the sounds of the original words). We kept, however, the definitive auto-tuning. For more information, or to BUY the 7" now, click HERE.

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