Bombino & Black Keys' Dan Auerbach Make Desert Rock For The Modern Ear

We review Bombino's Nomad album featuring Black Keys guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach.

Not simply a collection of good tracks, Bombino's Nomad — the latest album from the  Niger guitarist — transplants its listeners to a wild journey into the depths of an 11-track Saharan desert. This is a musical desert barren of everything but life’s two essentials: psychedelics and soul. A tour guide through his compositions, the guitar-powered emotion transcends language as the principle form of direction on Bombino's Nomad. As such, it doesn't matter whether or not one speaks the Tuareg tongue of the maestro in order to wander inside his adventurous world.

On his 2011 debut album, Agadez, Bombino soothed listeners with his North African brand of coffee shop blues. This time around Bombino’s entrancing concoctions fuse with some good ol’ fashioned southern comfort. Black Keys guitarist/singer and Nomad producer Dan Auerbach's gritty bootprint propels Bombino’s guitar mastery into mind-altering psychedelia levels. Album opener “Amidinine” instantly throws listeners deep inside the frontier of its outlaw creators. A daydreamer’s paradise, Nomad continues teleporting listeners to faraway lands from thereafter.

Bombino’s is a style of guitar playing that has each note setting off little sparks in listeners’ heads. In between the thrills, there are moments of contentment and quenching calm. “Imidiwan” subdues souls with an oasis retreat, as if Bombino and crew have kicked back from the danger on horseback (or motorcycle) with some pool time and frozen drinks. The hopeful tone of closing track “Tamiditine” cools down with the mark of a journey successfully completed. Perhaps Nomad’s peril-to-positive storyline hints towards a desire for peaceful times in Bombino’s home region.

Buy Bombino's Nomad on iTunes, out now via Nonesuch Records.


Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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