July 23 street date. Recordings of Mauritania's first modern musical group with some never before released material. Formed in the 1960s, the Orchestre National combined folk instrumentation with brass sections and electric guitars. Dreamy and hypnotic sessions are reminiscent of other post-colonial West African orchestras, but diverge with experiments in Mauritanian classical tradition. Like many of the Orchestras created in post-independence Africa, the National Orchestra of Mauritania was created as an idealogical symbol. To the Mauritanian classical music, with its rigid and complex modal system, the group unabashedly added electric guitars and brass sections. Traditional epics were adapted with contemporary sounds. In 1973, the band released their only official recording -- a 7" containing two live recordings from the Maison de Jeune (with the president in attendance). Five hundred copies were pressed in Beirut, Lebanon, and brought back to Mauritania where they were quickly distributed for free until no copies remained. All but vanished into obscurity in the ensuing decades of military dictatorship, these recordings slated for destruction were salvaged during a 1978 coup d'état. Comes with extensive liner notes.