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Group Inerane are a guitar based rock-fusion group from Agadez, Niger.
|Genres||Desert blues, Tuareg blues, Rock Fusion, Tamachek guitar music|
|Years active||2007- present|
|Associated acts||Group Bambino, Tinariwen|
|Members||Bibi Ahmed, Kouded Maman and associated musicians|
They first achieved recognition in the early 2000s as part of a second wave of Taureg protest music out of the Sahara Desert region. As members of this evolving scene Group Inerane are often placed alongside founding bands like Tinariwen who sought, in the 1980s and 1990s, to leverage their music politically as part of the stop-start Tuareg rebellion.
Their peers include associate acts (such as Group Bombino) with whom they have shared members and a record label.
Influences and cultural impact
Group Inerane re-interpret vernacular Tamachek guitar music and Tuareg folk music through the prism of Blues and Rock Music. Their record liner notes have observed how ‘at times’ they enter into ‘full-on... psychedelia’.
The band’s song ‘Tamidit In Aicha’ was chosen by NPR Music as a ‘Song of the Day’. Journalist Michaelangelo Matos described the merits of the song to listeners:
The fetching "Tamidit In Aicha" has little in common with the rough power of an Etran Finatawa, or the bristling edges and casual hugeness of a Tinariwen."Tamidit In Aicha" is slighter and sweeter: Think of it as a kind of jangle-pop tune. The guitar sways lightly, while the drums are busy but remain in thrall to a straight-ahead beat. It's raw and scrawny-sounding — the album was recorded live, and you can tell — but it's also pulsing with life and good cheer, like the best moments on a U.S. college station back when bedroom-label seven-inch singles were experiencing a surge. "Tamidit In Aicha" is the kind of record you might hear slotted between The Vulgar Boatmen and early Built to Spill, had it come the right DJ's way.
The ‘pulsing good cheer’ Matos celebrates is significant given the dramatic context which has surrounded the recording of their music. Western audiences often comment on Tuareg or Saharan desert rock-blues as having a mystique backdropped by violence. Eric Dawson, reviewing their 2010 album (Guitars From Agadez Vol. 3) for TinyMixTapes explained this unique dynamic:
Political turmoil, violence, and personal tragedy are not what immediately come to mind when listening to Group Inerane. The joyful, exuberant songs on the latest in Sublime Frequencies’ Guitars from Agadez series don’t seem indicative of the circumstances in which the music was created. Listen to an upbeat tune like “Tamidit,” a perfectly suitable piece for the wedding celebrations that still serve as Inerane’s primary venue in their home country of Niger, and you’d never guess that it was recorded shortly following a coup d’état that replaced that nation’s president with a military junta. And you certainly wouldn’t think this album followed so soon after Inerane’s guitarist Adi Mohamed was shot dead during a rebel battle...dwell too long on the contrast between the day-to-day reality of these musicians and the fetishistic collectibility of these limited-edition LPs and things can really get strange.
The band appear in the documentary film “Niger: Magic and Ecstasy in the Sahel” directed by Hisham Mayet, founder of and archivist for label Sublime Frequencies, which showcases the music of the Sahel region. In 2011 the band embarked on their first European tour. Their music is discussed in a ethnographical book published by Wesyleyan University Press. In a review of the book in Bomb Magazine Michael Blair outlined the purpose of the critical compendium as follows:
Coedited by Yale University’s Michael E. Veal and the The New Yorker’s E. Tammy Kim, Punk Ethnography takes Bishops’ ethical and aesthetic foundations in the American underground as a jumping-off point for considering their particularly “punk” approach to the traditionally academic field of ethnomusicology... beyond new releases by global musicians and obscure genre-compilations, there are Mayet’s ethnographic films set in Niger, Libya, and other countries, field recordings of the “insect electronica” of Southeast Asia, and the label’s signature Radio series—audio collages of sounds plucked from shortwave radios in Morocco, Java, and other places.
The music of Group Inerane, through the book, has become part of a wider discussion of how world music is studied and appreciated outside of its home region, as Daniel Glassman brought up in his review for Musicworks:
Though Punk Ethnography criticizes Sublime Frequencies’ crate-digger stance as exoticist, I think the issue is more complex. Is it really more ethical to imagine we have some knowledge of a foreign music’s context of creation and reception, even if it is irreducibly alien to the one we are in, than to accept its difference and appreciate it on those terms?
On the 1st Janurary 2020 the music-commentary YouTube channel ‘Bandsplaining’ published a video titled ‘The best guitar music today is coming from the Sahara Desert’ which featured Group Inerane bringing them to a wider, international, audience of music enthusiasts.
The band comprises lead guitarists Bibi Ahmed, Koudede Maman and a revolving cast of associated musicians. To date, their music has appeared on the Seattle-based label Sublime Frequencies although much of it was recorded live in Agadez, Niger. Most tracks feature a drum kit, with occasional traditional supplementary percussion, two electric guitars and multiple voices.
|Guitars From Agadez (Music Of Niger)||2007|
|Guitars From Agadez Vol 3||2010|
- "Group Inerane: Guitars From Agadez (Music of Niger)". SublimeFrequencies. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
- "Group Inerane: Guitars From Niger, For The World". NPR.org. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
- "Music Review: Group Inerane - Guitars From Agadez Vol. 3". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
- "Niger: Magic and Ecstasy in the Sahel". IFFR. 2015-09-04. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
- Veal, Michael E.; Kim, E. Tammy (2016-10-18). Punk Ethnography: Artists & Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 978-0-8195-7654-5. Search this book on
- "Group Inerane announce first European tour". The Wire. Retrieved 2020-01-12. Unknown parameter
- "Michael E. Veal and E. Tammy Kim's Punk Ethnography: Artists and Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies by Michael Blair - BOMB Magazine". bombmagazine.org. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
- "Punk Ethnography: Artists & Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies | Musicworks magazine". www.musicworks.ca. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
- The Best Guitar Music Today Is Coming From The Sahara Desert, retrieved 2020-01-12
- "Group Inerane | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
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