'Aman Iman:Water Is Life' surpasses Tinariwen's wonderful 2003 CD 'Amassakoul'(see my review). It was recorded at Bogolan studios in Bamako, Mali and produced by Justin Adams, currently the guitarist in Robert Plant's 'Strange Sensation' band. 'Aman Iman' has a tougher, more exciting sound than their previous two albums and is enhanced by the contribution of charismatic Saharan poet Mohammed Ag Itlale aka 'Japonais' on some tracks.
This Tuareg guitar band, who came together in 1982 in Libyan refugee camps, play mesmerising and uncompromising 'desert blues' born out of struggle for independence from the Malian government.
These 12 stirring,mysterious & timeless songs, mostly sung in Tamashek, deserve to reach the widest possible audience and 'Aman Iman' should be a strong contender for album of 2007.
A gurgle, a sigh, a breath and the aching scorched-earthed voice of Tinariwen's assigned leader, Ibrahim,"Abaraybone," breaks into voice. Following him come a seething, organic mass, chants and calls, spurred on by guitars that split flame, this is the music, these are the roots from which we came. This is the desert.
Tinariwen are the blues, they are the soul, they are Zeppelin before Zeppelin. We love this relentless, pulsating record because it reminds us what we once were as a species: a society, fraught rebel musicians.
Take this record as one whole but if I was pushed I'd say my favourite tracks are,"Matadjem Yinmixan,"so bouncy and spirited you just never want it to end and the incredibly earthy-sounding,"Ahimana." As is so often the case with world music releases these days the liner notes are absolutely impeccable, offering a transcript and an explanation of the songs in English. Producer Justin Adams also gives a candid account of how he literally stumbled upon the band in December 2000: the rest is history. It is perhaps worth noting when you listen to this that Tinariwen have been around for seventeen years, many of their recordings as yet unable on CD. I for one have only very recently jumped on the bandwagon. I won't be getting off.
This beats 10 types of you-know-what out of anything i've bought this year, including the Vieux Farka Toure CD, which has had a lot of playing. Once you've heard the infectious gritty guitar, surprisingly funky rhythms and captivating vocals you'll have to have this wherever you go. Don't even think about not buying it. Now, I'm off to buy their entire back catalogue...
on 16 February 2007
What can I say? If you like arabic voices, african rythmns, blues guitar and perfect melodies this is the album for you. Tinariwen's Aman Iman (Water Is Life) doesn't fit neatly into any category - apart from the obvious World Music - but will fit in well with any serious music collection. The band formed in 1982 in Moammar al-Qadhafi's camps of Tuareg rebels. They play in the Tishoumaren ("music of the unemployed") style, and sing mostly in the French and Tamashek languages. Their songs mostly concerning independence for their people from the government of Mali. They are said to be the first Tuareg band to use electric guitars. Excellent stuff.
on 17 June 2008
I'm no world music expert, but from time to time something comes along from outside the English speaking world that demands my attention. 'Aman Iman' is such an album. These Touareg musicians from the Western Sahara create a music whose 'otherness' is obvious, yet which is immediately accessible to western sensibilities. Their music evokes the solitude of the desert and the loneliness of exile, and yet is life affiriming and joyous. It's a thrumming, hypnotic, even foot-stomping sound, not obviously African, with arabic influences and hints of the blues, and deserves a wider audience.
on 24 January 2008
Decidedly funky, a Jimmy Hendrix like lead guitar - you wouldn't believe Tinariwen comes straight out of the Sahara desert. This is an amazing record, sounding perfectly modern at times, only to remind you immediately of its roots.
What Yothu Yindi did for Australian aboriginal music, Tinariwen does for the Tuareg, fully embracing western instruments and using these to explore new angles on their traditional songs. Amazing, I repeat, amazing.
on 21 September 2007
Never heard anything as good as this before. So new, so original, yet so traditional. I'm a World music lover, but this is brilliant.
I've been happy with spending my nights drooling over Ravi Shankar, Ram Narayan, & Up Bustle and Out, never in my deepest dreams would I ever have thought they could be over-shadowed in such a big way!!
If you've got the money to buy this... get it.
If you haven't, sell your right foot and buy this. It's a once in a lifetime CD.
Oh My God... How good is this!?!?!!
on 17 May 2008
If, like me, you're starting out in the great savannas of world music and have seen this album flashed around on music sites, then can i say this is great stuff and much more entertaining than several cd's that are offered at the moment (Apart from orchestra boabab, possibly) Enjoy.
on 16 February 2007
Having listen to the odd song from there past catalogue, I found there music so fresh, with it's blues overtones and north african sounds. They are a band worth seeing live and after getting their new CD...WOW!...this is music
that feels like a Breath of Fresh Air....BUY IT!
on 21 April 2014
Brilliant album and absolutely compulsive listening.
If you like Tamikrest you'll love this. More 'desert blues', in this case with a more rhythmic quality.