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

Bayarbaatar Davaasuren: The Art of Mongolian Khoomii (Arc Music)

Bayarbaatar Davaasuren: The Art of Mongolian Khoomii (Arc Music)

When I first witnessed a Mongolian throat singer some 30 years ago – and I did weirdly feel I was a witness at something beyond my comprehension – I asked someone where the feedback... > Read more

HOSSAM RAMZY INTERVIEWED (2004): Egypt's music ambassador

HOSSAM RAMZY INTERVIEWED (2004): Egypt's music ambassador

Hossam Ramzy, who has a home in England and an apartment in Cairo, is a hard man to pin down. The first call is to the British office where the Egyptian composer and percussionist is... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Desire: Broken Heart (1985)

Desire: Broken Heart (1985)

You probably didn't need me to add the date for this one pulled From the Vaults. The hair says it all. Hers too. Desire were singer/keyboard player Suzie Divine and guitarist/keyboard player... > Read more

Fats Waller: My Very Good Friend the Milkman Said (1935)

Fats Waller: My Very Good Friend the Milkman Said (1935)

Paul McCartney covers this old Waller song on his album Kisses on the Bottom where he goes back to songs he knew fondly in his childhood (and isn't the first Beatle to do so, Ringo did a collection... > Read more