Igd el Djilad
The multi-vocalist band Igd el Djilad was formed in the mid-1980s by a dozen young music students with progressive aims. With half a dozen harmonising voices and half a dozen players, they are revolutionary (for Sudan) in their readiness to use material from the whole country - north and south, African and Arab. Their song lyrics reflect their progressive concerns, and their music strives to be both forward-looking and reflective of the country's roots, using rhythms and chants from right across the country. To an outsider this seems innocuous enough, but it's an approach that takes guts. Members of Igd al-Jalad have been arrested on several occasions, questioned by security police and threatened. Rather than being stopped from playing altogether they were forced to give written assurances that they would not provoke the authorities with songs about poverty and famine. The name, by the way, refers to a circlet of musky perfumed hide traditionally worn by a bride at her wedding. Their best moments recall early Steeleye Span.