Etran Finatawa, Introducing
The essence of desert rock offers a taste of Niger
Desert rock is becoming a genre these days, and this group from Niger has the essentials down pat. Bluesy electric guitars are prevalent, though the focus remains on percussion, bass and the droning repetitiveness of superb chants and poetry. With the background instrumentation so tight, there's plenty of room for the guitars and vocals to roam. The six-string playing is excellent, constantly weaving and ducking into handclaps and the calabash, but it's the vocals that drive this project — all members sing, mostly in call-and-response format. Introducing offers just a taste of a band — and region — that is coming to light on an international stage. It's a platform we hope to hear more from soon.