Sudan Archives – The 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN – March 3rd 2020

Sudan Archives – The 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN – March 3rd, 2020

Review and photos By Sophie Owen

With her first EPs out in 2018 and 2019, Sudan Archives brought her first American tour to the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis on March 3rd, 2020.

Opening for her was Cartel Madras, a hip-hop duo from Canada who also just released their first mixtape in 2018. Their style self-ascribed as “Goonda rap,” a play on a South Asian term for “thug,” the two were a force on stage, spitting speedily back and forth with projections on a screen behind them. Their energy was high, getting the soon packed crowd amped up for Sudan Archives.

Sudan Archives had the mood set before she even came on the small stage. Small pedestals with various candles lined the back of the stage, flickering gently. The only equipment on stage were a couple of electronic consoles on some stools, an electric violin and stand, and a microphone.

The best way I could describe the vibe and music style of Sudan Archives would be ethereal. She was a solo act, using a combination of traditional Sudanese fiddling techniques, looping technology, and hip-hop/R&B vocal styles to create a haunting, lilting style of music that was truly unique. She would harmonize with herself using loops and create entire grooves with her violin, using it as a percussive instrument, strumming it like a guitar, and playing it like a traditional violin. She created so many different vibes with just a few instruments.

Seeing her in the Entry was a great time. The room was packed for such an intimate setting, and she was all up in the audience’s business, and they were there for it along with her. Between being enraptured by her and jamming out with her, the whole show was a non-stop experience. Both Sudan Archives and Cartel Madras are definitely acts to keep an eye on in the future.