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Imidiwan: Companions

August 25, 2009 | Format: MP3

$8.99
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
3:32
30
2
3:49
30
3
5:28
30
4
5:40
30
5
4:10
30
6
4:51
30
7
4:49
30
8
3:46
30
9
5:43
30
10
3:16
30
11
4:54
30
12
3:21
30
13
4:53
30
14
4:19
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Format: Audio CD
Tinariwen (former guerrillas from the depths of the Malian Sahara) are Touareg rockers dressed in flowing indigo robes wielding electric guitars.
This is their forth album, which takes a step back from the sonic clarity of "Aman Iman: Water Is Life", in favour of a rootsier sound.
They recorded this album out in the Sahara, in the remote oasis of Tessalit, and this is audible in the raw, sandy grit of the 13 tracks.
The fundamentals are unchanged and on this one they are bravely sticking to what they do best: the rolling, laid-back rhythmic grooves; powerful, intricate guitar exchanges; bluesy, call-and-response vocals, echoing with desert soul - while there's a greater emphasis on the poetic, meditative qualities of desert life, whether on the intense "Tamdjeras Assis" ("Regret Is a Storm") or the graceful "Chabiba", a hymn to youth.
"Tenhert" matches a light blues riff against rapid-fire vocals, and "Kel Tamashek" is a glorious stomping work-out.
"Lulla" is glorious, sounding like a heavy, late-night celebration with fiery guitar licks and distant ululations.
It's impossiblbe to resist to their trancey pieces and their rousing, slinky desert blues.
At the end of the listening, you are under their spell, caught and locked into their shamanic groove.
Aman Iman: Water is Life
Fondo
Eclipse
The Magic Couple
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Format: Audio CD
Tinariwen are a band of exiled Touareg freedom fighters from Mali once conscripted into Colonel Gaddafi's army (they would often go into battle with guitars strapped to their backs). Theirs is a psychedelic mix of Folk, Blues, with Arabic influences, sung in the Berber language Tamasheq. The album has a nice campfire ambience, and yes, guitars feature prominently. All kinds; Blues, Electric, Sitar-like ones.

Highlights on the disc include the clap-filled "Lulla", the electric guitar-driven Bluesey "Tenhert", the soothing pair of "Enseqi Ehad Didagh" (with some sitar-sounding string instrument) and the dreamy "Chegret" (the latter with calming harmonies - both are my favourites), the Santana-sounding pair of "Tahult in" and "Imazaghen N Adagh" (with lovely tapped percussion), and closing cut, the shuffling "Ere tasfata Adouni" (with Santana-style guitar licks and picking up speed towards the end).

Joyous and mournful all at once, this is beautiful Blues from the desert.
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Format: Audio CD
In the UK, recent years have seen a trend developing whereby African music is being accorded a higher profile. I've never bought an album of African music before but, as I am quite a trendy person myself, I thought the release of 'Imidiwan : Companions', by Tinariwen, presented an ideal opportunity for me to jump on the bandwagon.

The music combines elements of American blues with North African rhythms; it's a highly textured (and somewhat bewildering) blend of bluesy guitar riffs, hypnotic rhythms, primordial drones, some unusual time signatures, chant-like vocals and unintelligible lyrics. All of the lyrics are sung in Tamasheq (which sounds a bit like Arabic), but the liner notes provide English translations and these indicate contemporary folk themes. The band's basic instrumental line-up consists of 1st. and 2nd. electric guitars, acoustic guitar and bass guitar, with each of the electric/acoustic guitar players taking the lead on a selection of the songs; rhythm guitar can be heard in the mix also, and percussion comes from a variety of hand-struck traditional instruments. The lead guitarists also provide the lead vocals, and the male/female backing vocalists sing in a style that is often loose, occasionally a bit chaotic, but usually in harmony. Amazon place the album in the 'Dance & Electronic' category - well, I guess you can dance to some of it, but 'electronic'???

I rather liked the music - although I don't always feel comfortable with it (maybe that's part of the appeal?). All the same, it's only going to be a matter of time before one or two of Tinariwen's earlier albums will find their way onto my CD rack.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tinariwen. Young boys on the run from a civil war, forced to grow up on the edge of the Saharan desert in northern Mali, find hope listening to Hendrix and other great rock and roll. Answer = form rock band. Tinariwen turns the experience of the desert in a sensation for your ears. A testament to the power of pop music to infiltrate even into way out of the way places on the earth and then be turned once again on its head. The guys and gals of Tinariwen today are ace performers - you can't buy the kind of cool that their lead man Ibrahim has. Their music is borne out of conflict, hardship, and a never ending desire to look beyond it all to something more. This record is great, and was easily one of the most powerful live performances I ever saw when they came through the US. They say in West Africa that 'the beautiful ones are not yet born'. Tinariwen may be among those that have. Add to cart now.
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