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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 12.7 x 14.61 x 1.14 cm; 69.45 Grams
- Manufacturer : Crammed Discs
- Manufacturer reference : 876623001522
- Original Release Date : 2006
- Label : Crammed Discs
- ASIN : B000IHZJ1K
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer reviews:
Nothing is more evocative of the fascinating expanses of the Sahara desert than the music of Tartit, a Tuareg band consisting of five women and four men residing in the Timbuktu region. Tartit play hypnotic, trance-inducing music: the women sit down, sing, and play cyclical rhythms on their tinde drums, while the men sing and play string instruments, acoustic and electric. The men are veiled, the women aren't. Tuareg society is one of the few throughout Africa in which women are allowed to choose (and divorce) their husbands.
The band was formed in a refugee camp, during the Tuareg uprising in the early '90s. Tartit have toured Europe several times (including the UK), most recently as part of the Desert Blues shows. The album was recorded in Bamako and in the northern Mali desert by Congotronics producer Vincent Kenis, on his mobile studio. The track 'Achachore I Chachare Akale' features lead vocals and guitar from Afel Bocoum, who has played with the legendary Ali Farka Toure in the past.
(4 stars - Top Of The World Album) 'A Rousing, evocative set.' -- Songlines, (Robin Denselow), November/December 2006
(4 stars) It is the stark, intense beauty of the stripped-down material that impresses most. -- The Times Knowledge, (Nigel Williamson), Oct 28 - Nov 3 2006
(4 stars) The rise of desert rebel blues outfits continues apace with this very special release. -- Jazzwise, (Jane Cornwell), December 2006 - January 2007
Another reminder of the extraordinary wealth of music that exists across Mali and the Sahara. -- Songlines, (Robin Denselow), November/December 2006
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In terms of the more traditional songs, there is a combination of male and female vocals in some, more often one or the other takes the lead. What's good is that the production keeps everything level, so neither the vocals or instrumentation overwhelms - occasionally with 'world music' the vocals can sometimes be pushed too strongly, whereas here they are just one other instrument. The songs set up a hypnotic effect and, to use a cliche, really do have you closing your eyes and imagining the scene around the campfire, and apparently the more traditional sounding tracks actually were. One track in particular, 'Tihou Beyatine' really brings this across, with ad-lib vocal contributions and even what sounds like general chatter in the background.
Other tracks feature electric bass and desert-blues style eletric guitar which, though not quite as gritty as Tinariwen, is incredibly uplifting and beguiling, weaving melodies over the other traditional elements. One highlight is the second track 'Ansari', which within half-a-dozen bars had charmed its way into my World Music Top Ten Tracks of All Time - no mean feat.
There are many fantastic tracks on here, though, and its balance of purely traditional songs and those with one or two electric instruments prevent it from becoming an effort to listen to.
If you're looking for Malian or Northwest African music, forget Tinariwen and Toumast - they're great live but this is the real thing: field recordings from the desert performed by a band of five women and four men on traditional instruments (although there is electric bass on two tracks, it doesn't sound too out of place).
If you love the Desert Rebel sessions, Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba, and Ali Farka then this is for you.