back to
Sahel Sounds
We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Music from Saharan Cellphones

by Various Artists

supported by
©ough©ool thumbnail
©ough©ool These compilations are always such a joy to revisit & listen to where Saharan blues' roots Favorite track: Alghafiat.
looneyleonard thumbnail
looneyleonard Reading about Mdou Moctar in Mojo Magazine was my intro to Sahel Sounds. Wonderful to find a whole new musical universe in Africa!
I love this compilation, full of energy.
14 out of 10 from me
Looney Leonard X
cbdiabla thumbnail
cbdiabla Death Grips heavily sampled this album for their landmark The Money Store. It's easy to see why: this is an absolute banger! Takes you to another continent while celebrating the magic of sharing songs with friends and strangers. Favorite track: Yereyira.
more... more...
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $9 USD  or more




Music from Saharan cellphones is a compilation of music collected from memory cards of cellular phones in the Saharan desert.

In much of West Africa, cellphones are are used as all purpose multimedia devices. In lieu of personal computers and high speed internet, the knockoff cellphones house portable music collections, playback songs on tinny built in speakers, and swap files in a very literal peer to peer Bluetooth wireless transfer.

The songs chosen for the compilation were some of the highlights -- music that is immensely popular on the unofficial mp3/cellphone network from Abidjan to Bamako to Algiers, but have limited or no commercial release. They're also songs that tend towards this new world of self production -- Fruity Loops, home studios, synthesizers, and Autotune.

In 2010, various versions of saharan cellphone music were released on cassette. Many of the songs were unlabeled, giving no insight to their mysterious origins. In the past year, the artists have been tracked down to collaborate on a commercial release. As such, 50% of the proceeds go directly to the artists.

The original cassette was also remixed and reinterpreted here:



released December 2, 2011

Collected in Kidal, Mali, 2009-2010 by Christopher Kirkley
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk at Stereophonic
Front cover graphics by Mystére
Back cover images from cellphones in Kidal


all rights reserved



Sahel Sounds Compilations Portland, Oregon

contact / help

Contact Sahel Sounds Compilations

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

Sahel Sounds Compilations recommends:

If you like Music from Saharan Cellphones, you may also like: