N IS FOR NIGER
Stuff sure gets murky when I’m trying to approach cultural occurrences that are created by the oppressed marginalized minorities. For instance, the singer Bombino, with whom I am absolutely obsessed, and whom I will hopefully see in March live, is Tuareg. He is, however, from the country of Niger. And while Bombino himself had never shied away from being referred to as Nigerien, it is also unfair to just talk about him as Nigerien. However, when searching for a flag of Tuareg independence I got super confused with all the tribes and their many flags. This is an obstacle that I often struggle with while writing about entries here, but I’m trying not to let it mess with my head. Because one way or another, Bombino is one of the most exciting musicians alive today. First heard by the mass audience on a Sublime Frequencies record, he is now so big that he’s even been nominated for a Grammy this year: in my opinion, giving to this old-fashioned, conformist prize a breath of freshness. I hope he wins. That and everything else. Because this master of guitar who grew up fleeing from danger is what I want to be listening to when the world goes to shit, which, I assume, will be soon. Nothing else lets me feel like I’m riding rainbows and sand waves quite like that. And his latest album, Deran, is very cool.
Deran Deran Alkheir (Well Wishes) by Bombino
Released: 2018, Partisan Records.