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Toumastin

Toumastin

22 Apr 2011
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Toumastin
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tuareg music seems to be on something of an upswing at the moment, thanks in no small degree to the crossover success of Tinariwen, whose richness of Malian desert blues has struck a chord with Western sensibilities. Tamikrest clearly model themselves on that band, but they have benefited both on their debut, Adagh (2010), and on this latest offering, from the services of producer Chris Eckman. Eckman, late of The Walkabouts, and more recently Dirtmusic, whose recent foray into similar territory on their album Bamako featured instrumentals from Tamikrest, has nudged the band in a direction guaranteed to deliver crossover success without losing the authenticity of their roots.

Equally accessible to Western ears as Tinariwen, Toumastin features the customary ululating vocal stylings and loping, almost trance-like grooves so familiar in the Tuareg sound. The album is no great stylistic leap forward from the band's debut, but is none the worse for that. This is heady and bewitching music, exotic yet strangely familiar and addictive. Best is the final track 'Dihad Tedoun Itran', whose majestic and slow paced blues sends shivers up the spine at the realisation that while this music has the gloss of something 21st century and modern, it is rooted in something much older, alien to Westerners, and yet reassuringly and hauntingly familiar. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a stellar follow-up to Tamikrest's previous release "Adagh". They are often compared to the well known Touareg group Tinariwen, but Tamikrest are forging ahead with their own identity and sound. This album builds on what they started in their first release - the sounds are atmospheric and trance-like. You can imagine the desert expanses rolling ahead of them as they play. All tracks are in their native language, Tamasheq, but the liner notes give translations, which give a deeper understanding of the philosophy of these people. They are unashamedly romantic and also brutally honest about their world. They have once again mixed in reggae rhythms and have melded them well with their "traditional" Touareg blues guitar style. Stand out tracks are "Aratan n Tinariwen" and Dihad Tedoun Itran - which brings in a non-traditional viola to great emotional effect. But to be honest, the entire album is a triumph.
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A highly enjoyable album. Tamikrest are sometimes called "Tinariwen's angry little brothers", but are much more up-beat and fun. I prefer them to Tinariwen. If you love Malian music and love guitar music, this one is for you. Listen to the track "Aratan N Tinariwen". If you are wondering about the word "Tinariwen" in the title it means "people of the desert". If you like hypnotic desert blues, give it a go, you will like it.
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