Sahelsounds

ETRAN DE LAIR - No. 1

Based in the Northeast of Niger, Etran De LAïr is one of the longest running bands in Agadez. Unknown outside of their hometown, Etran is one of the hardest working bands on the wedding circuit, playing on ramshackle equipment in true DIY aesthetic. The name Etran De LAïr translates to the Stars of the Aïr," the mountainous region of Northern Niger. They are based in the town of Agadez, an urban center renowned for the electric guitar and the Western named "desert blues." In the Sahara, this electric guitar genre is intertwined with social function. Its a lucrative commerce, and gigging bands make their living in weddings, baptisms, and political events. Etran De LAïr is one of Agadezs longest playing groups on the circuit. Yet they are also a band that has remained on the fringes, stars of the Agadez working class. Etran De LAïr play a style that captures the contemporary sound of Agadez, incorporating vastly different musics into their repertoire. While Tuareg guitar follows a predictable format, Etran breaks convention and throws a third guitar into the mix. The two lead guitars solo on top of one another, in constant dialogue, with a crashing response from the drum. There is a bubbly underwater warble that emerges from reverb and crackly amps. Its electric party music, surf rock, from a place that is all beach. They differentiate themselves from the other wedding bands: "... Our music is based around traditional Takamba... and we listen to a lot of Malian music. Not Tinariwen, but musicians like Ali Farka Touré and Oumou Sangaré." Etran De LAïr is not just a musical group, but a family collective. The group was formed in 1995. Agadez was much smaller then, few homes were electrified, and guitars were rare. As new technology found its way to Agadez, they band adapted, amplifying the acoustic guitar with a transducer microphone, acquiring electric guitars, and finding a drum set. As the family grew, so did the band, integrating the younger siblings into the musical group. This is Etrans debut record. They claim to have written over 40 songs, but none of them have been released until now. This session was recorded live in the outskirts of Agadez. The impromptu performance drew the entire neighborhood out of their houses -- eliciting the audible clapping, shouting, and ululation. Hand assembled three-color, old school offset covers; Edition of 1000." - Sahelsounds.

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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.



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