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

Laura Riz: Gypsy Soul (Arc/Elite)

Laura Riz: Gypsy Soul (Arc/Elite)

Look, I have absoluely no doubt that singer Riz -- who was previously a fashion choreographer and director who sang light jazz and bossa nova -- makes music as authentically "Gypsy" as... > Read more

Various Artists: Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura (Brownswood/Soutbound)

Various Artists: Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura (Brownswood/Soutbound)

The global success of Buena Vista Social Club a decade ago meant some presumed the group represented the sound of Cuba -- and that shut out any notion there might be vibrant young players (or even... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Cranberries: Even the faithful departed

The Cranberries: Even the faithful departed

At the time, flying from London to Tokyo to interview the Cranberries seemed like a good idea. It was May '96 and they would be coming to New Zealand for a show shortly afterwards. My job -- at... > Read more

1968: THE YEAR THAT ROCKED THE WORLD by MARK KURLANSKY reviewed (2004)

1968: THE YEAR THAT ROCKED THE WORLD by MARK KURLANSKY reviewed (2004)

With this 2004 year about half gone we appear to be in a volatile time. Some days you just don't want to get out of bed. In politically precarious North Asia both South Korea and Taiwan are... > Read more