'Imidiwan' is the fourth album by the exciting Touareg 'desert blues' band, Tinariwen, which maintains the high standards of their previous recordings. Despite their popularity they show no signs of compromising their style for a Western rock audience and the passionate, mesmerising music on this marvellous CD transcends any language barrier. There is also a bonus DVD of a short film shot on location in the Sahara by French film maker Jessy Nottola. 'Imidiwan' should be a strong contender for the best album of 2009.
A band whose name has orbited the outer realms of my musical awareness Tinariwen,s fourth album has finally seen me part with some of my hard earned readies to see what the fuss is about. For more than 30 years, this raggedy band of rebel Touaregs from Mali have plied their trade gradually , inexorably surfacing into public consciousness . Are they worth the kerfuffle, the effort , the expenditure to find out what music is all about?
Well of course they are. The four stars give that away really . Fusing wiry but complex guitar patterns with errr wiry but complex vocal arrangements the music is resonantly personal and clearly of a place and a time. Without concessions to their burgeoning western audience ( at least to my ears ) Tinariwen have resisted the temptation to dilute their sound to accommodate , betting reasonably why change a winning formula.
Highlights of the albums thirteen song set include the harmonious hypnotic album opener "Imdiwan Afrik Tendam ", "Kel Tamashek " , a whirling dervish of a song with rhythms flying off a immeasurable tangents , the dense slow burn funk of "Tamult In" and the introduction of female harmonies on "Chabiba" is especially welcome .
You could also the admire the wiry circuitous riff of "Tenhert " or the way "Tenalle Chegret" is so delicately languorous without ever becoming tedious . Which occasionally the album is by the way. Closing instrumental "Ere Tasfata Adounia" feels tacked on and even a vocal track like "Assuf Ag Assuf " drags. The music does firmly stick to a formula but as it's one that has done so well for them that is understandable and for the most part it is intoxicating .
The accompanying DVD is worth a watch ,though may have a very limited repeat appeal. The music though is likely to enthral for many months, years to come. Like the desert which the Touregs roam -constantly shifting , evolving ..... spellbinding and beautiful but somehow always the same.
on 27 June 2009
Surely the time is right for this magic band to break through and become massive,Tinariwen are a visionairy grooup,lauded by stars such as Robert Plant they prove that language is not a barrier,they are part of the toureg race,dwellers in the Saharan Mali area and they make tough uncompromising pan cultural music,see their DVD"live at the shepherds Bush empire"for proof of haw to get an audience dancing!!!!
This is a great album which can only enhance their status as africasa premier blues band.excellent!!!
Having played all their first three albums a LOT, I really didn't see that they could do much more to impress me, but Tinariwen have come up with a real killer here.
The laid-back feel of the 'Radio Tisdas Sessions' is brilliantly combined with the sharp production of 'Amassakoul' and particularly 'Aman Iman' to create the most coherent and vibe-filled of all their efforts so far.
And if that doesn't convince you, there's also a free DVD featuring the band recording the album - out in the desert of course.
This band is truly one of the very best around today in any genre - long may they continue to dazzle us and entertain us - looking forward to the next batch of gigs guys...
on 29 July 2009
Another blinding album from the kings of the Tuareg blues. The CD comes with a beautifully shot and insightful DVD. If I were to buy just one Tinariwen album, it'd be a close run thing between this and 'Aman Iman - Water is life'. The fact that this one has a great DVD too tips me over the edge. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.