Ahmed Ag Kaedy Was Exiled from Mali for Playing Music. So He Recorded His Album in Portland Instead.
“Akaline Kidal,” the latest album by guitarist Ahmed Ag Kaedy, evokes a windswept desert night in North Africa. It was recorded, however, in single, haunting takes on an 8-track cassette in a Portland basement. Ag Kaedy intended for his album to recall the Kidal region in Mali—a homeland he’s been banished from for playing music, and one he may very well never see again. “It’s music that carries with it a solitude,” Ag Kaedy says about his new album. “The emotions are something, even for the Europeans or Americans to feel in the music. It’s universal.”