Omara "Bombino" Moctar was born in 1980 in Tidene, Niger
(about 80 km Northeast of Agadez), in a Tuareg encampment. He's a member of Ifoghas tribe, part of the Kel Air Tuareg foundation. He lived with various family members in both Tidene and Agadez for the first several years of his life, but during the Tuareg Rebellion that began in 1990, was displaced to Algeria. While living in exile, the young man began teaching himself to play guitar, and as a teen, began playing professionally throughout North Africa, from Libya to Niger.
Bombino follows in the footsteps of other Ishoumar musicians and desert blues
groups like Tinariwen
, but has his own take on the style, fusing the traditional rhythms of the Tuareg people with modern, electric blues sounds and a rock-and-roll edge.
Bombino's first (and only, at this point) internationally-released record is 2010's Agadez
. Recorded by filmmaker Bill Wyman and released on Cumbancha Records, Agadez
was received well by critics and fans around the world. It's a beautifully-produced record -- the keening guitars are vibrant and full, the Tamasheq-language vocals are expressive and dark, and the whole thing is just well-sequenced and nicely-mixed, making it a real pleasure to listen to.
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