Tamikrest: Chatma (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Tamikrest: Toumast anlet
Tamikrest: Chatma (Glitterbeat/Southbound)

More than a decade ago what became known as “Sahara blues” or “desert blues” -- the mesmerising sound of mercurial guitar, drone-like vocals and rolling rhythms – floated into consciousness via bands like Etran Finatawa and Tinariwen, and great female singer Malouma, out of North Africa.

The next generation are represented by Terakaft and Tamikrest who have more obvious Western rock influences.

With longtime producer Chris Eckman (a onetime member of the Willard Grant Conspiracy), Tamikrest bring their hypnotic sound together with dub reggae textures, left-field folk and white-heat guitar work to match the politics of a region scarred by radical Islamists, warfare and unemployment.

This, their third album (lyrics translated from their native Tuareg), is a volatile if sometimes melancholy mix of all the above where traditional instruments (calabash, djembe) boil in the pot alongside those stinging and sinuous guitars.

Their themes pertain to their world – the suffering and oppression of women, souls battered by hardship, dignity and hope amidst the perils – but these become universal concerns.

The production which allows some psychedelic/prog-rock passages may not be to everyone's taste, but it reenforces you marginalise this as “world music” at your peril.

It's so much more.

As the intralinks indicate, this kind of music has been well covered at Elsewhere, but for more on desert blues start here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Loop Select Mixtape (Loop)

Various Artists: Loop Select Mixtape (Loop)

Free music is always a good thing and the very fine people at Loop in Auckland have once again offered a free downlaod of a mixtape collection Here's the tracklisting: 01. Bottom Line... > Read more

Mala: Mala in Cuba (Brownswood/Southbound)

Mala: Mala in Cuba (Brownswood/Southbound)

When UK DJ and Cuban music aficionado Gilles Peterson went back to Havana in May last year to record local musicians (who have appeared on his excellent on-going Havana Cultura series), he took... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Leon Russell: Back to the Island (1975)

Leon Russell: Back to the Island (1975)

Leon Russell is like the Kevin Bacon of rock: there are six degrees of separation between him and anyone else. Actually, that's not true. There are about three. Leon to the Beatles? Well he was... > Read more

Various: Get a Haircut compilation (2007)

Various: Get a Haircut compilation (2007)

Back in the mid Sixties Auckland’s Fair Sect Plus One -- originally an all-girl band called the Fair Sect who adopted the new name with the arrival of their male drummer -- released a... > Read more