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Desert Crossroads by Etran Finatawa
Released: Apr 2008
Label: Riverboat
Recorded in just four days, Desert Crossroads has stories for miles: incessant tea ceremonies (three captured here); piles of dirt trucked in to secure a traditional drum in the studio; and "Bagui's Soundscape," which captures the aural experience of hearing a Touareg herder pass by and contains as much longing in its 1:33 as the rest of the album put together. There's an ache at the heart of Etran Finatawa's hypnotic and lonely desert blues that's brought on by displacement, and it speaks to us with a pained beauty that transcends even language barriers.
Sarah Bardeen
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