14/05/2019Mauritania's Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla Releases Extremely Limited Edition Tour Cassette

After two weeks in Turkey, our hearts bleed Arabesque. So it may not come as surprise that we have developed somewhat of a soft spot for songs in a minor key and melodies dealing with unfulfilled love and the likes. Under any other circumstances we most likely would have filed away Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla's instrumental electronic keyboard flourishes as 'kitch'. But that would have been a mistake. 

Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla is one of the Saharan country's biggest stars. Born into a musical family (his father being a renowned tidnit [four-stringed lute] player) he is today considered one of Mauritania's premiere keyboard performers, whose music can be heard "blaring from taxi caps and cassette shops across the country". As a regular at lavish weddings in the capital city of Nouakchott, Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla made a name for himself with his indubitable energy and "evocative theatrics, accentuating notes by playing with his elbows, or tapping the keyboard with his head".

On "Terrouzi" he combines classical Mauritatian music, aka WZN, with an abundance of outernational styles as he presents a future vision of the sounds he grew up with, from "90s slow jam R&B, to bass-heavy boom bap and minimal trap, [...] hypnotic and tranced out". There would seem to be no method to his musical madness, which makes his plastic sounds all the more intriguing and no doubt engaging. Head over to Bandcamp for the extremely limited cassette accompanying his recent tour of Europe, organised by Planet Rock. And for more insights, head over to Sahel Sounds

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom