Friday, 20 July 2018

Tinariwen “Emmaar” 2014-2 LP`s Mali Desert Blues,Electric Blues,Tuareg Rock


Tinariwen “Emmaar” 2014-2 LP`s Mali Desert Blues,Electric Blues,Tuareg Rock 
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Malian musicians Tinariwen’s new Emmaar showcases their ever-swirling guitars while also displaying an increasingly refined approach to album-making.
Tinariwen’s identity as a band is tightly bound up in the Sahara. They are named for the vast empty spaces traversed by the Kel Tamashek (aka Tuareg), traditional nomads for whom modern borders have been problematic. The band formed in Libya while in exile from Mali, and has always made music that passionately evokes its home; their last album was recorded in the open air of that desert. Such an arrangement was not possible this time. The political situation in Mali made returning to the northern desert untenable, and though they’ve been driven from power in most places, the specter of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb—an organization ideologically opposed to music—still looms across a large swath of the Sahara. 

The band instead set up a studio at a house in California’s Mojave desert near Joshua Tree National Park. Time in the Mojave hasn’t removed the Sahara from them, though—this music still moves like a sandstorm. Even at slow tempos it swirls with motion, and nearly all of its forward drive comes from the guitars and bass, with percussionist Said Ag Ayad able to frame the beat rather than having to provide all of it. The group trades off lead vocals and sings in unison, and the four guitarists seem more capable and versatile than ever. There are phrases and rhythms here that wouldn’t have been heard in their music previously. 

That growth extends to their album-making craft as well. They’ve become excellent at balancing feels and flow. “Toumast Tincha” opens the album with this sort of hovering feel that only this band can really do, guitars scattering like dust devils while Saul Williams provides a strange, understated spoken word intro. The album then kicks into a higher gear for “Chaghaybou,” and it’s just the first example of how well-paced it is. A few other Americans drop in. Chavez’ Matt Sweeney and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Josh Klinghoffer melt right into the guitarscape, but Nashville session fiddler Fats Kaplin lights up “Imdiwanin ahi Tifhamam” with a fiery performance that brings hints of his hometown to melodies from Al-Andaluse. It is in some respects hard to be a band like Tinariwen, releasing albums in a Western marketplace where the initial attention you received had a great deal to do with the novelty of your sound. Remaining true to your identity while also evolving and keeping an audience that’s always a moving target interested in you is a tough gig. On Emmaar, Tinariwen are up to the task….by Joe Tangari..pitchfork…~


Desert blues practitioners Tinariwen long ago transcended their North African roots, successfully crossing over to western audiences. Indeed, such is their international reach that it almost comes as a surprise that Emmaar, their sixth album, is their first not to be recorded in the Sahara. The temporary relocation to California’s Joshua Tree desert doesn’t represent a marked deviation in their style – not even an appearance by stray Red Hot Chili Pepper Josh Klinghoffer manages to ruin things. Brooding, uncluttered songs are still slow to unfurl, with rolling rhythms taking precedence over hooks, and massed voices proving hypnotic. It’s perhaps not as immediate as 2007’s Aman Iman, but no less pleasing….by…Phil Mongredien…guardian reviews….~


For Saharan blues band Tinariwen, the desert is home; their hypnotic and electrifying guitar rock reflects the melding of their Tuareg musical heritage with modern urban blues. Their 2011 album Tassili, recorded in the Algerian desert, won a Grammy Award for Best World Music album. Now their new record Emmaar returns to their roots, delivering stripped-down dirges and effervescent electric anthems…..~


It’s not as great as the Tinariwen album that made me a fan in the first place (Tassili, the acoustics get me every time), but it brings out the Tinariwen that made them who they are; the north African rock rifts that hearken back to the origins of blues, listening to the rhythms of the dessert while strumming the chords of their hearts. The melodies will stick with you for days, and I’ve found it’s necessary to put a song on repeat for a while just to ensure the lull you’re sent into lasts with you as your mind whisks you away to a far away place, all while sitting on your couch or office chair. 
Even without understanding a word that they say, the true heart and soul that comes out with each vocal is enough to give you goosebumps and understand that their love and respect for their homes, people and world is truth….by….behicbey…~


Another Gem from the Desert
Tinariwen’s sixth album Emmaar is a logical progression from their previous album, Tassili. This album however strikes a more somber tone than previous releases. It feels like the whole album was recorded in the middle of the night with a hushed tone, almost as if the band were afraid to wake sleeping neighbors. The acoustic guitars of Tassili are replaced with electric guitars and the muted sound is still clean and clear, with the same intimate feel that made Tassili a gem. On Emmaar, the whole work has the feeling of sitting around the campfire with the band at night. 
The highlights of the album come near the end. The ninth track, Koud Edhaz Emin, has the some beautiful call and response vocals and is the most melodic track on the album. Track 10 features some nice percussion and rolls along at a quicker pace than the others, while Track 11, Aghregh Medin (Hassan’s Song), also stands out with its solo acoustic guitar and percussion. There are three addition songs available on the special editions: either the CD version, Emmaar, or the MP3 version, Emmaar [Deluxe Edition] 
Tinariwen deserve credit for continually revising their sound and producing new and worthwhile material. To be honest, I still prefer Tassilli but this album is certainly a worthy successor. Tinariwen and Bombino still stand as the standard bearers for the whole “desert blues” movement….by… The Nomadic Tribesman….~


Call and response vocals offering poetic tributes to the beauty and danger of Sahara, jagged guitar riffs, sinewy grooves that proceed with the unhurried pace of a camel making its way across the desert: in their own way, Tinariwen are every bit as predictable as, say, AC/DC. 

With most acts, such relentless repetition of a few tricks would lead to groans of boredom. In Tinariwen’s case, however, you wouldn’t want the band to change. The perfect desert-blues formula, first heard outside the band’s Saharan habitat on 2001′s Radio Tisdas Sessions, couldn’t possibly be improved upon. 

That said, Emmaar isn’t quite business as usual. The violent unrest in the northern parts of Mali that the robe-clad Tuareg collective call home reached such catastrophic proportions (one band member was reportedly arrested by the fundamentalist Ansar Dine) that the band were forced to forsake their beloved Sahara. Tinariwen is sadly all too familiar with political upheaval. When the Malian government clashed with the Tuareg some decades ago, veteran members of the band fought back, leading to the kind of authentic rebel stance that feebly posturing rock bands and overly vivid imaginations of publicity departments can only dream of. 

Not that Tinariwen need a boost from a colourful back story: their music, a mix of traditional Tuareg ballad forms and electric guitar tricks apparently picked up from bootlegged Eric Clapton tapes, is easily potent enough to elevate them from the ‘world music’ margins. Reassuringly, relocating to another desert (Joshua Tree in California) for the recording sessions has led to approximately zero change in the band’s approach. Lean grooves that speak volumes about the supposed connection between Malian music and the gritty blues of John Lee Hooker et al unfurl at a casual yet still decidedly intense pace, whilst the band’s four guitarists dish out riffs and flurries of notes that sting like hot desert sand whipped up by strong winds. Superb soul-poet Saul Williams and ‘name’ guitarists Matt Sweeney and Josh Klinghoffer (Red Hot Chili Peppers) make appearances, but all but disappear into the band’s hypnotic interplay: on this evidence, Tinariwen are certainly not intending to assimilate rock moves in search of a bigger ‘Western’ audience anytime soon. 

Such strong musical identity means that even the tiniest of tweaks sound pretty seismic. The likes of opener “Toumast Tincha”, the bumpy ‘desert-rap’ of “Chaghaybou” and the sizzling slow-burn of “Imidiwan Ahi Sigdim” sound like classic Tinariwen, but subtle use of echo and reverb means there’s a little bit more meat around the bare bones of the economically administered notes than usual: this is obviously the sound of a band playing together in a room, discovering the tunes together as they are being recorded, with irresistibly electrifying outcomes. There are no obvious crowd-pleasers such as “Chet Boghassa” (off 2004′s Amassakoul) or “Ahimana” (2007′s Aman Iman), but the faultless quality control and – it seems – generally enhanced intensity levels more than compensate, making Emmaar possibly the band’s most consistently satisfying album yet. With one foot in the desert and the other in the Louisiana bayou courtesy of violinist Fats Kaplin, the brilliant “Imadiwanin Ahi Tifhamam” proves that the band can learn new tricks – and still sound exactly like Tinariwen…..By Janne Oinonen ….~


Here go the pertinents on Tinariwen, because no matter how long they’re around (they formed in 1979), our favorite Malian rebels will always need thorough introduction on this side of the Atlantic. They sing in Tamashek, the language of the Tuareg nomads, though French is the official language of Mali. Their name means “deserts.” They wear robes called boubous, which aren’t particularly helpful to the western eye (three or four of the members like to have their faces almost entirely covered; on the other hand, mustachioed frontman Ibrahim Ag Alhabib reliably has the showiest, shiniest boubous). But on their seventh international album, Emmaar, recorded in Joshua Tree, California, the slithery Sahara-dwellers again prove they’re one of our great non-English-speaking bands. Ostensibly political without sounding like it needs Constance Garnett-levels of translation, it’s wash-over music, almost background music, partly but not all because it sounds every bit as distant as it is. 

For better and worse, surprises on Emmaar are scarce if there are any. While they’re fans of all manner of classic rock — they dig Hendrix and Zeppelin, on top of collaborating with the likes of TV on the Radio and, here, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Josh Klinghoffer — Tinariwen say they make “guitar music.” Vague as it sounds, that typically denotes a camel-ish pace and a crawl like Bob Dylan’s “Highlands”. Other staples of the group’s sound recur here, including soft drumming and vocals that multiply midway through the verses. “Arhegh Denagh (I Call on Man)” simmers as it slowly builds. “Emajer (The Heat on the Breeze)” patters and steps with chanting that sounds more conversational than that found elsewhere. Emmaar, though, can run together to a fault, in part because much of it sounds alike and partly because it is (or at least sounds) so wordy. But in the spirit of the Olympics (not that Mali is home to a single athlete competing in the Winter Games), the whole thing is worth observing even if you’re not personally invested….BY MICHAEL MADDEN….~


  Tinariwen are a combo of musicians from Mali; all the songs are titled and sung in their native tongue. So unless one is conversant with the language, it is of no real value to refer to the lyrics with respect to an English-speaking audience. However, if you are prepared to be enchanted by some truly dusty nomadic sounds that reveal a passion for Hendrix and American blues, this is for you. A prolific band with a fluid line-up, Tinariwen strongly assert their identity. And true to their nomadic heritage, the songs themselves exude stoic torment at times but always hint that you can walk on and walk through, forever forwards, even through a burning desert full of mirages and into the unknown. It is the knowing of nothingness that drives them forward. 

Heck, their name means ‘empty places’ for starters. And they know their subject matter intimately, having had to flee their homeland due to political and social unrest. Most songs sound like campfire singalongs with massed voices. Maybe it’s the strength of the harmonies that make this record an example of what can be achieved by rapidly layering melodies to ascend into some sort of transcendence, despite the listener having no idea what the songs are about. 

The presentation has a freshness that even at full-throttle, Tinariwen maintain a composure that comes from knowing each others craft and working off each other. Ponderous instrumentation and lyrics which are most probably full of astounding insight suggest that unlike the peculiar and arid landscape from which they hail, they do not lack ersatz with their boutique sounds.  …by…Bronius Zumeris….~ 


Gredits
Ibrahim Ag Alhabib lead guitars, lead vocals except on Chaghaybou, Imdiwanin Ahi Tifhamam, Tahalamot, Aghregh Medin 
Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni lead vocals, lead guitar on Chaghaybou, Tahalamot, Imdiwanin Ahi Tifhamam, background vocals, claps 
Alhassane Ag Touhami lead vocals and lead guitar on Aghregh Medin, background vocals, claps 
Eyadou Ag Leche lead guitar, lead vocals, on Toumast Tincha, rhythm guitar on Aghregh Medin, bass, claps, background vocals 
Elaga Ag Hamid guitars, claps, background vocals 
Said Ag Ayad percussions, claps, background vocals 
Toulou background vocals on Chaghaybou , Emajer 


Josh Klinghoffer guitar on Toumast Tincha, Timadrit In Sahara 
Fats Kaplin fiddle on Imdiwanin Ahi Tifhamam, pedal steel guitar on Toumast Tincha, Sendad, Koud Edhaz Emin 
Matt Sweeney guitar on Emajer 
Amar Chaoui percussion on Chaghaybou, Toumast Tincha, Sendad, Arhegh Danagh, Emajer, Koud Edhaz Emin 
Saul Williams spoken words on Toumast Tincha






Tracklist 
A1 Toumast Tincha 
A2 Chaghaybou 
A3 Arhegh Danagh 
A4 Timadrit In Sahara 
B1 Imidiwan Ahi Sigdim 
B2 Tahalamot 
B3 Sendad Eghlalan 
C1 Imidiwanin Ahi Tifhamam 
C2 Koud Edhaz Emin 
C3 Emajer 
C4 Aghregh Medin 
Bonus Tracks 
D1 Adounia Ti Chidjret 
D2 Isleigh Taghram Tifhamam 
D3 Tin Ihlan 

CD-1 Toumast Tincha 
CD-2 Chaghaybou 
CD-3 Arhegh Danagh 
CD-4 Timadrit In Sahara 
CD-5 Imidiwan Ahi Sigdim 
CD-6 Tahalamot 
CD-7 Sendad Eghlalan 
CD-8 Imidiwanin Ahi Tifhamam 
CD-9 Koud Edhaz Emin 
CD-10 Emajer 
CD-11 Aghregh Medin 
Bonus Tracks 
CD-12 Adounia Ti Chidjret 
CD-13 Isleigh Taghram Tifhamam 
CD-14 Tin Ihlan 

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