Les Filles de Illighadad / Isnaj Dui
Four-piece Nigerian band Les Filles de Illighadad hail from the village of Illighadad in the region of Abalak. They play a combination of tende and guitar music.
Christopher Kirkley writes on Sahel Sounds, the blog and label that brought Les Filles to western ears:
"Tuareg guitar music as a genre is increasingly familiar outside of the desert. But the origins of the music are in the tende. The tende (previously) is a water drum, formed out mortar and pestle, stretched across with animal skin. It falls into that designation as traditional, though I would offer "village music" as it retains a dominant role, particularly in the countryside; accompanying village celebration, but also a therapeutic and curative trance inducing music.
Les Filles de Illighadad differs from the multitude of guitar bands and tende troupes in their curious bridging of these worlds. Guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali, one of only two female guitarists in Niger in a overtly male dominated genre, leads the troupe with songs adopted from the tende repertoire – making them one of the few groups to pursue this path. After 30 some years of ishumar guitar, it's a curious and exciting development. As the band makes their first travel across Europe, Illighadad awaits with anxious ears."
Isnaj Dui writes glitchy neo-impressionistic music using bass flute, home-made dulcimers and electronics. Cited as a distinctive voice, taking the flute away from its pastoral image into more twisted territory, Isnaj Dui has released several critically acclaimed albums and collaborated live and on record with numerous artists from electronica to folk bands.