Jeich Ould Badu and Ahmedou Ahmed Lewla – Top WZN

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Instrumental synth and lute from the Sahara desert. Playful electronic drums combine with gothic tinged organ freakouts and quivering electric “banjo” to create an anachronistic trance music. Mauritanian WZN (literally “instrumental music”) has emerged as pop music, blaring out of taxi cabs and cassette shops throughout the country. These are two of the genres biggest stars: griot Jeich Ould Badu, playing a hacked traditional lute with built in phasers and pre-amps, and synth wizard Ahmedou Ahmed Lewla, on an Arabic scaled pitch bending keyboard. Hypnotic and infectious, transporting Mauritanian classical music into technological futures, like a drug free baroque rave under the open air of the Sahara. Originally released on cassette, this is the first international release ever of the celebrated regional genre.

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