El Wali - Tiris LP
An amazing and rare studio recording of 1990s Polisario music! The album is a standout example of the Sahrawi political folk style that mixes traditional modes with Western scales and instrumentation. response vocals, The repertoire of El Wali is fiery and inspirational, a call to arms - with national anthems, celebrations of political anniversaries, and religious pleas for peace, with call and response duets, backed with a synthesizer, programmed drums, and electric guitar.
Nomadic inhabitants of Western Sahara, the Sahrawi movement for liberation began in the 1970s and has continued until today. Sahrawi political folk music dates back to the origins and has played an integral role in the struggle, with political anthems creating a national identity. One of the first Saharan music to incorporate the electric guitar, the style was hugely influential on the better know Tuareg guitar genre. The later addition of synthesizer and programmed rhythms further transformed the sound, becoming a foundation of Sahrawi music.
Recorded in Belgium in 1994 while on tour, this version of El Wali performed a style reflecting the popular music of the refugee camps. "Tiris" is a refreshing production with none of the typical World Music polish of the 90s. This evidently led to its unsuccessful release in the West. Originally released only in as a small run CD for OXFAM Belgium, the CD quickly disappeared and is impossible to find. In West Africa, however, it became a viral success and the defining representative Sahrawi music. In 2012 a track was released on "Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol 2" and only after an arduous search over 8 years (leading through Spain to the Canary Islands to Tindouf and eventually to Belgium) the artists, the studio, and the original recording were tracked down. A co-release with Badawi Archives, the first Sahrawi run record label led by dj/producer Bedouin Sahrawi.