Back in the days-when-we-went-places—October 2019, to be
specific—Afropop’s Ben Richmond ventured down to Pioneer Works in
Brooklyn’s Red Hook to see Les Filles De Illighadad. Coming all the
way from central Niger, the band played its characteristic,
memorizing fusion of desert guitar and ancient village choral chant.
You’ve seen the photos and this spring you can hear the music: on May 28, Sahel Sounds, along with Pioneer Works, is releasing an album recorded during their two-night, sold-out stand at the art space and performance venue.
You can hear "Surbajo" right here:
As focused and almost prayerful as their music can sound, performed live it also comes off as extremely welcoming and generous, and by the end of the night, even celebratory. Not to call Brooklyn-art-space-dwellers “uptight” or anything, but if that crowd was up on its feet, it felt like something special was happening.