On Anewal/The Walking Man Tuareg guitarist and singer Alhousseini Anivolla evokes the great African blues masters and blazes a trail through his Saharan homeland.
'throbs with desert guitar tropes given a bluesy twist, thick basslines and deep, reverberating vocals full of inscrutable myth and mystery' 7/10 Uncut
'Alhousseini's debut is in a different league' 3*** stars, The Financial Times
'desert rock becomes an introspective affair on this debut' 3*** stars, Independent On Sunday***
'subtle nuanced arrangements ... a move towards an intimacy of sound' The Arts Desk, Disc Of The Day
'New gorgeous Tuareg desert blue' Afropop Worldwide
Anewal/The Walking Man
This album was recorded in Niamey, the hustling-bustling capital of Niger. As the city hummed with heat and thick dust storms rolled in, Alhousseini Mohamed Anivolla and his good friend Michel Tranchet recorded the music heard here. Next, Colin Bass painstakingly tweaked, mixed and cultivated the swinging bluesy sounds with his expert touch. Their careful efforts resulted in Anewal/The Walking Man,a solo album soaked in the spirit of deep desert blues.
Alhousseini was born in the Saharan desert and is a nomad of Tuareg heritage. He chose the album title Anewal/The Walking Manin reference to his itinerant lifestyle, which has led him across the Sahara and the entire globe as a member of Etran Finatawa. Now on Anewal/The Walking Man, Alhousseini takes centre stage - every work is his own original composition.
Alhous' sound puts his own spin on the great living tradition, the 'Desert Blues'. His music explores the intersection between the traditional music of his homeland, and the African-American blues genre that it birthed. His guitar technique is related to the ichumar style, developed during the 1970s by Tuaregs exiled in Libya.
The album's central theme concerns Alhousseini's strong connection to his ancestral elders and his community, values that are expressed both lyrically and musically. 'Emassli Na Taregh' features a traditional musical bow that Alhousseini feels puts him in direct contact with the ancestors. The title of the track 'Iblis Odouad' translates as 'Demons Are Showing Up', Alhousseini explains: 'When the sun is coming down ... you hear all the demons talking at once in different languages. You feel alone, isolated and so homesick if you are not surrounded by your dear ones at this time.' Again we are reminded that, for Alhousseini home isn't dictated by place, but only by community and the company of your loved ones. The track opens with a solo guitar figure, which is later joined by a thick bassline and cantering percussion. After over a minute of instrumental interplay, Alhousseini's vocal enters in a soft, almost hushed tone that conjures up an air of solitude perfectly.
Anewal/The Walking Man is Alhousseini's diary of his personal journey from the desert, to the city, to the world stage and back again. Enjoy this evocative and gutsy desert blues album from Alhousseini, who is, in his own words a 'nomad by heart'.