BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Tinariwen: Imidiwan:Companions (Filter CD/DVD)

 |   |  1 min read

Tinariwen: Tahult In
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Tinariwen: Imidiwan:Companions (Filter CD/DVD)

Alongside Etran Finitawa, Tinariwen out of north Africa have been in the vanguard of what the international music press has dubbed "Sahara blues" for their stinging guitars which seem to refer to Chicago '65 and the mesmerising rhythms which conjure up space and landscapes of the subsconscious.

They are grounded but elevating.

Their Amassakoul album was considered one of the Best of Elsewhere 2006 and its follow-up Aman Iman:Water is Life one of the Best of Elsewhere 2007, but maybe this album is the one to tip them into greater acceptance and understanding: it comes with a 30 minute DVD film by Jessy Nottola which places them in context.

With a revolving door membership it was inevitable that their sound might subtlely change and this time out they seem to have gone back to their roots which can sound disconcertingly psychedelic in places as those sharp-edged guitars slide into the foreground or tickle around the edges.

The vocals have a misty and distant feel (not always, the tongue-twisting Tenhert will catch you by surprise) and there is a gentle rolling out of the melodies. "Stoner music" a friend called it, and he could be right.

But it is also grounded in the stark realities of their lives -- which means it can be melancholy, contemplative and joyous in turn.

This is an album -- as with their previous ones -- to get thoroughly immersed in.

They've scored a rare trifecta with this appearing as one of the Best of Elsewhere 2009.

Check out the clip below and you'll start getting the picture of their remarkable lives and story. 

Share It

Your Comments

Gavin Hancock - Dec 8, 2011

My first taste of desert blues and I loved it. I keep coming back to this one. As for the actual genre "desert blues" it's a style of music not unlike the various sounds released by Cuba's legendary EGREM Records...buy just about any album blind and you're guaranteed something good.

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Three years ago I chose the Mahima album by Bhattacharya and American guitarist Bob Brozman (who played at Womad that year) as one of the best of the year in the Herald with the comment that their... > Read more

Tom Ze: Estudando a Bossa; Nordeste Plaza (Luaka Bop)

Tom Ze: Estudando a Bossa; Nordeste Plaza (Luaka Bop)

Tom Ze was one of the stars of Brazil's Tropicalia movement in the late Sixties and his edgy music and approaches to song structure and instrumentation was collected by David Byrne for the Best of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: James Taylor; Sweet Baby James (Warners)

THE BARGAIN BUY: James Taylor; Sweet Baby James (Warners)

After his brief signing to the Beatles label Apple and his self-titled debut in '69 (which included a song entitled Soemthing in the Way She Moves which Harrison also used), Taylor moved over to... > Read more

Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band: The Intro and the Outro (1967)

Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band: The Intro and the Outro (1967)

Few indie.rock followers would perhaps know the band Death Cab for Cutie took their name from a song by this group of musical surrealists, the song of that name appearing in the Beatles' Magical... > Read more