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 Finatawa, 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 from Elsewhere articles index

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba: Segu Blue (Out Here/Elite)

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba: Segu Blue (Out Here/Elite)

The death in March 2006 of the great Mali musician Ali Farka Toure -- who reached a global audience in the mid 90s with the Talking Timbuktu album recorded with Ry Cooder -- lead to many tributes... > Read more

Taraf de Haidouks and Kocani Orkestar: Band of Gypsies 2 (Crammed Discs)

Taraf de Haidouks and Kocani Orkestar: Band of Gypsies 2 (Crammed Discs)

The rather mouthful of an album title tells you that this is forced marriage of two Romany groups teaming up to celebrate the Taraf's 20th anniversary. This album comes a decade on from... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Mel Parsons

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Mel Parsons

Singer-songwriter Mel Parson's debut album Over My Shoulder from 2009 was nominated for a Tui in the New Zealand Music Awards. It had critics noting her lyrical strengths and songs which could... > Read more

ALLIGATOR RECORDS 1971 - 2011: Four decades of brittle and often brilliant blues

ALLIGATOR RECORDS 1971 - 2011: Four decades of brittle and often brilliant blues

In his excellent book More Miles Than Money, subtitled “journeys through American music”, the expat London-based writer Garth Cartwright meets Bruce Iglauer who founded the Alligator... > Read more