The music of Portland duo Brainstorm circumnavigates the musical globe with total ease, marrying the sounds of both hemispheres and offering a modern, Northwest perspective on sounds from very far away.
Brainstorm has just released a new EP, and The Mdou Moctar Covers (Music from Saharan Cellphones) is exactly what its title says: Two cover songs of Nigerian musician Mdou Moctar, whose music is most commonly distributed through Saharan Africa via cellphone—personal computers are rare, and vinyl melts in the heat! Brainstorm are big Mdou Moctar fans; one of the EP's tracks also appears under its original title ("Tahoultine") on the Music for Saharan Cellphones compilation.
You can check out Brainstorm's new EP over on Bandcamp; it includes the songs "Vanessa" and "Devil Cannot Wait," with completely rewritten lyrics by Brainstorm, done to match the phonetic sounds of the originals rather than their meaning. (Mdou Moctar's affinity for Autotune is preserved intact on the cover versions.) You can also check out the songs on Soundcloud, where they're also available for download, along with the original tracks by Mdou Moctar himself.