Tinariwen: Amassakoul (Wrasse/Shock): BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

 |   |  <1 min read

Tinariwen: Amassakoul'N'Tenere
Tinariwen: Amassakoul (Wrasse/Shock): BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006

Tinariwen were from a group of stateless wanderers who lived at the whim of weather and changing political climates in the greater Sahara, and were educated in the language of armed struggle.

In the 80s they developed their music of exile. But just as blues singers from America's south found acoustic guitars didn't cut it in the hard-edged cities like Chicago, Tinariwen needed a tougher form of expression than their traditional instruments.

They picked up electric guitars and battered amplifiers. What you hear is hypnotic blues from Northwest Africa played on barbed wire guitars and little else other than handclaps and vocals.

At times this seems closer the hard-edged blues on the Fat Possum label (RL Burnside, T Model Ford), however on tracks like the gentle and melancholy Francophone rap-poetry of Arawan -- with women ululating in the distance -- it can be heart-achingly beautiful.

But mostly this is earthy, electric - and electrifying - blues from people who earned the right to sing it.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Alice Coltrane: Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

Alice Coltrane: Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

Although well-known in jazz circles for albums such as A Monastic Trio, Ptah the El Daoud, Universal Consciousness and others under her own name on the Impulse label, the pianist-composer Alice... > Read more

YUNGCHEN LHAMO INTERVIEWED (1999): The singer as national emblem

YUNGCHEN LHAMO INTERVIEWED (1999): The singer as national emblem

When this interview appeared in 1999 I was subject to some interesting passive-aggressive communications from people purporting to be sympathisers with the Free Tibet cause who suggested that what... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Julia Hulsmann Trio: Sooner And Later (ECM/Ode)

Julia Hulsmann Trio: Sooner And Later (ECM/Ode)

It has been almost a decade since German pianist Hulsmann’s trio impressed mightily with the emotionally still and evocative The End of A Summer, but also about six since we found her... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Radiohead; OK Computer (EMI)

Just as Achtung Baby and Zooropa represented a watershed period for U2, so The Bends of '95 and especially OK Computer of two years later marked a turning point in Radiohead's still-young career.... > Read more