Announcing M’berra: the forthcoming album by Khalab & M’berra Ensemble

We're excited to announce our second release of the year, M'berra — a collaboration between Italian electronic artist Khalab and individual musicians he encountered during a trip the M'berra Refugee camp in Mauritania. It will be released on CD, vinyl and digital formats on 23 April 2021.

M’berra is the sound, the story, of a collective of Malian musicians from the M’berra Refugee Camp in southeast Mauritania and Italian producer and electro-shaman Khalab. In a sprawling tent city rising out of the desert, out of nothingness, at the border with Mali in West Africa, brought together by spirit and circumstance, the group’s Arab and Tuareg members — some unknown, some who have previously toured Europe — find solace and beauty in music and song.

'We Are M'berra' - The trailer for the forthcoming album by Khalab & M'berra Ensemble

Raffaele Constantino a.k.a. Khalab is a producer with a psychedelic perspective and deep love of African music and indeed, Afro-futurism. Already acclaimed for an oeuvre saturated with loops, repetitions, trance and transcendence, for collaborations with the likes of Malian percussionist Baba Sissoko, Khalab is even more lauded today. His pivotal 2018 album Black Noise 2084 (On the Corner) and subsequent series of mixes and features from artists including celebrated black British reedsman Shabaka Hutchings have made Khalab a name to drop.

Raffaele Constantino a.k.a. Khalab. Photo credit: Jean-Marc Caimi. 3D work by Mine Studio / Aira.

Amongst the many musicians in the M’berra Ensemble are Amano Ag Issa and Mohammed Issa Ag Oumar of Tartit, the much-feted group from the Tombouctou region of northern Mali. They variously recall their past and reclaim their present with proud, gritty vocals; wielding electric guitars and traditional instruments — the lute-like tehardent, the single-string imzad — across 12 tracks that tell of resistance and freedom, of desert storms and desert moons.

The project was made possible through the support of INTERSOS, an Italian humanitarian aid organisation that works all over the world to bring assistance to people in danger, victims of natural disasters, armed conflicts or living in conditions of extreme exclusion.

Read more about the album

The vinyl edition of the album will be available in a deluxe gatefold package with yellow LP and a 32-page booklet — an extraordinary visual accompaniment showing photographs of the musicians at the M’berra camp captured by French photographer Jean-Marc Caimi alongside written accounts of the project told from a number of perspectives. The album is also available digitally, and on CD (with accompanying booklet).

Pre-order M’berra

M’berra is out on 23 April 2021. A preview track, ‘Curfew’, will be available to stream on all platforms on 17 March 2021.

Featured Release

  • M’berra

    Khalab & M’berra Ensemble

    Released 23 April 2021

    M’berra is the sound, the story, of a collective of Malian musicians from the M’berra Refugee Camp in southeast Mauritania and Italian producer and electro-shaman Khalab. In a sprawling tent city rising out of the desert, out of nothingness, at the border with Mali in West Africa, brought together by spirit and circumstance, the group’s Arab and Tuareg members find solace and beauty in music and song.

By Online Editor

Published on Wed, 03 March 21

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Track of the day: ‘Curfew’ by Khalab & M’berra Ensemble

'Curfew' is taken from the forthcoming album M'berra, out on 23 April 2021.