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Amazon's Tinariwen Store


Image of album by Tinariwen


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The desert is a place of hardship and subtle beauty, a stark world that reveals its secrets slowly and carefully. Life in the desert is resilient and strong, and the people are gentle giants among the sand, storms, and sun. For Saharan blues band Tinariwen, the desert is their home, and their hypnotic and electrifying guitar rock reflects complex realities of their homebase in North West ... Read more in Amazon's Tinariwen Store

Visit Amazon's Tinariwen Store
for 11 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Jan. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: IRL
  • ASIN: B0001BYL8K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,537 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Amassakoul’N’Tenere
2. Oualahila Ar Tesninam
3. Chatma
4. Arawan
5. Chet Boghassa
6. Amidinin
7. Tenere Dafeo Nikchan
8. Aldhechen Manin
9. Alkhar Dessouf
10. Eh Massina Sintadoben
11. Assoul

Product Description

Product Description

The songs of Tinariwen mourn the passing of the epic golden age of the Saharan tribes, while endeavoring to map out a future for the generations who must survive beyond it and live with the modern world. Recorded with the help of solar energy in the studios of Radio Tisdas, the Tamashek station of Kidal, the new album, 'Amassakoul' immobilizes their wandering music at long last.

BBC Review

This second album by the leading Touareg desert blues band in Mali arrives at a time when many will be suffering from the winter blues. If you didn't make it to the Festival in the Desert but enjoyed the live album, you'll be happy to discover that this music has a similar power to transport you to the heats of the Sahara. There's even a studio version of the song "Aldhechen Manin" which first appeared on that wonderfully atmospheric compilation.

In the same way that the experience of displacement and disenfranchisement has produced a vibrant rebel music culture among the Saharawi people of Western Sahara, Tinariwen's roots lie in the Touareg rebellion and subsequent diaspora of Toureg people which took place after Mali's independence.

Tinariwen were the first group to adapt traditional Touareg music onto electric guitars when they began making music in 1979. They are still led by original member Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, who has the most distinctive vocal and guitar style of the current male soloists.

Four of the six other musicians represented on "Amassakoul" have joined the group since their 2001 debut "The Radio Tisdas Sessions".And this second album is a more polished and varied affair, with less massive reverb and a good deal more studio tinkering on most songs.

As before, "Amassakoul" is dominated by distinctively gentle rocking rhythms (which emulate the gait of a camel in all its moods), call and response vocals, gnarled but simple guitar lines, ululations and handclaps.

New elements include the occasional use of flute on tracks like "Alkhar Dessouf" and the closing vocal drone of "Assoul". There's also more percussive detail than before best heard on "Eh Massina Sintadoben" and the vocal patterns of "Araouane" seem to show the influence of Jamaican-style chatting or rapping.

Otherwise, this is pretty much the Tinariwen fans will know and love. The shock of the new that made their first album so appealing isn't as strong, but just as nomads never stand still, they are moving on musically. --Jon Lusk

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 2 Feb. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is perhaps one of the ironies of the contemporary global economy - I can bemoan the fact that globalisation means that the high street in Beijing is beginning to look remarkably like the high street in Manhattan or London, yet I can also sit back and appreciate that a Touareg group can maintain their cultural autonomy and make music which I, a Scotsman, can enjoy.
There is something wonderfully sparse and pure about this music. The Touareg are a nomadic people - traditionally, they carry as little as they need ... and if you can pack stories and songs into your head, so much the better. Of course, Tinariwen have picked up influences from near and far - culture is never static. Their sound will go on to influence others around the globe. But what comes across forcibly in their music is pride.
"Amassakoul" is their second album, more organised and orchestrated than their "Radio Tisdas Sessions". Culture does not stand still, and young musicians who had been forced into camps because of the border wars erupting in their traditional lands have transformed the electric guitar into a 'traditional' Touareg instrument. It remains 'traditional' in the sense that it is there to support and enhance the human voice, to underpin the telling of a story or narration of an emotion. But at times it is given an opportunity to make its own statements.
The rhythms are largely sustained by the human voice, the chorus echoing the refrain of the lead singer. They sound more restrained than Western rhythms - the beat is not so intrusive, though it remains hypnotic. Apparently, sand dunes sing - as they shift in the wind they can emit a moan or a drumming rhythm. The Tinariwen sound is humanistic, not mechanically syncopated.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Wilf on 18 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD
You know what they say about art being born out of suffering - well, here you are!

From the southern reaches of the Sahara Desert (in Mali), from among the nomadic Tuareg tribes, a band of poets and minstrels have put down their guns and picked up electric guitars. And have poured the anguish and suffering of their people into their poetry and music. The result is Tinariwen.

A few years ago, I saw Tinariwen playing on Jules Holland's show and was dumbstruck! I'm afraid all the other guests on the show were instantly erased from my mind as these wonderful sounds and rythms swept into my ears. As soon as I possibly could, I went to my local music shop to order anything I could find by the group. And when Amassakoul arrived a week later, I was entranced (and continue to be so).

For anyone who loves guitar music and funky rythms, Tinariwen pushes all the right buttons. And if you find that you like art that you know has been born out of great hardship (such as the blues, which sprang from grinding rural poverty and social deprivation, or the poetry from the blood and mud of the trenches), then you will find that this music has an integrity born out of drought and war and displacement.

Speaking personally, I have always loved raw, stark, unadulterated guitar music (which is why I love the blues - esp from the early exponents of the genre, like Leadbelly and Robert Johnson), and therefore really appreciate the music of this group. Whether its my imagination or not, this music definitely seems to communicate something of the mystery and beauty of the desert. And the combination of male and female voices adds to the sense of a whole people, dispossessed and driven from their homes.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By "christianlloydhall" on 28 April 2004
Format: Audio CD
The inlay card says these Malinese travelling musicians put down theirtraditional Toureg instruments and picked up the electric guitar in the80s and began a revolution. But producing an album like this in 2003 hasnot meant they have lost any of their soul. This album is for any fan ofupbeat world music and is impossible to put down. If you're into NorthAfrican music of any sort, from the Algerian master Abdelli or southernSpanish big guns Radio Tarifa, you need to get into Tinariwen. From thevery beginning of this album you realise these guys know their stuff andlove the electric guitar. It might sound weird on paper (nomadic Africansinging with funky guitars) but this merge has an obvious quality andinterest right from the start of the CD. The album is well balanced withsoulful explosions that you would imagine is the best possible music tocruise around the Sahara with in a jeep or something, and some delicateslower numbers that reach into the hearts of these fascinating andintelligent musicians. Buy this CD and your friends will say what is thisgreat music, I've heard nothing like it before?
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By S. G. Davis on 31 May 2004
Format: Audio CD
I caught Tinariwen on Jules Holland's 'Later', completely by chance and was immediately intrigued.
I'm fairly blinkered and not in any way a world music fan but they were completely riveting, I had to go and buy the CD next day from a World Music shop a few miles away.
Paid 50% more than I could have got it for here, but it is more than worth it's cover price, absolutely astounding and captivating music.
Their website has a couple of clips to give you a taste of what they can do. Words can't do them justice.
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