The African country of Mali has been such a rich wellspring of internationally-recognized music that it no longer comes as a surprise when an outstanding record emerges from that region. However Tinariwen’s story is somewhat different.
Born in the Malian refugee camps in Libya in the 1970s, Tinariwen formed as a collective of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara desert. Serving simultaneously in a rebel army, they eventually laid down their arms and devoted their energies towards their music, anchored by a uniquely spiky electric guitar sound. By the turn of the century, they had begun to regularly play outside of Africa and to quickly have became a favorite on the festival circuit. Over the course of four albums throughout the past decade they have staked their claim as one of the most intense and powerful performers from any continent.
For their latest album, Tassili, Tinariwen take a new approach by unplugging the guitars and inviting some special guests to join them. The acoustic setting reveals the close connection between their distinctive style and classic American blues. And a relationship with members of TV on the Radio (who they first met while performing at the Coachella Festival in 2009) led to Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe of that band to collaborate with them on a series of tracks. Other guest performers on the new album include acclaimed guitarist Nels Cline (of Wilco fame) and the legendary New Orleans group The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, giving the record new accents.
But the undeniable Tinariwen sound is absolutely in full effect throughout the album. It is a sound of survival, of hope, of beauty and mystery, and of soul, both of the spiritual and musical varieties.
- Eric J. Lawrence, KCRW DJ and Music Librarian
Tassili will be available to stream on demand from August 22 through September 20, 2011. The album will be released on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.
Artist website: http://www.tinariwen.com
1. IMIDIWAN MA TENNAM (feat. Nels Cline)
2. ASUF D ALWA
3. TENERE TAQQIM TOSSAM (feat. Tunde Adebimpe & Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio)
4. YA MESSINAGH (feat. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band)
5. WALLA ILLA
7. IMIDIWAN WIN SAHARA
8. TAMIDITIN TAN UFRAWAN
9. ADEN OSAMNAT
10. TENIDAGH HEGH DJEREDJERE
11. ISWEGH ATTAY