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Top 10 World Music CDs

December , 2006


Recording from exile can really give you the blues. Hassan's tribe, the Saharawis, are nomads who've spent decades in exile on Algerian land, after rebelling against their Spanish colonial masters in the mid-1970's. Like the Touaregs (most notably in the form of Tinariwen), the Saharawi have combined traditional isntruments with stinging electric guitar and turned the pain of displacement into music of astonishing power. Hassan's voice, floating above the spare instrumentation-thet raditional tidinit drum, accentuated by handclaps and call-and-response vocals from other women, and lead guitars by Boika Hassan and Baba Salama-sounds like an Arabic Patti Smith, fronting the Mississippi voodoo rhythms of Junior Kimbrough.