The original masters of gossamer Touareg guitar groove return, touring their latest record, the sweet and becalmed ‘Tassili’ – “Their most rewarding, mesmerising effort to date” (Q).
Tinariwen are a collective of Touareg nomads from the Saharan desert led by Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, a bona fide rock star with a mesmerising guitar style. They are icons of freedom and resistance among their own people. Their music is widescreen to the point of limitlessness, its circular blues riffs, call-and-response-vocals and hypnotic drones seemingly inseparable from the sweeping desert landscapes of the Sahara. They can justifiably claim to be one of the biggest names in world music right now but their appeal stretches far beyond the world music community – for Tinariwen are a guitar band, formed in the 70s inspired by Hendrix and Led Zeppelin and with the riffs to prove it, while their back-story, an epic tale of suppression and rebellion set in the expanses of the Sahara, has been described as “the most rock ‘n’ roll of them all” (The Irish Times).
Tinariwen are up there with bands as diverse as Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Fleetwood Mac and The Doors as one of the most distinctive rock bands in the world. They happen to be the most fluid of them all, making twilit desert trance-rock that is exhilarating in its assured earthiness and liquid otherworldliness. They come with a history like no other, but their incendiary live show is to be savoured in the moment.
2011’s ‘Tassili’, featuring members of TV On The Radio and Wilco, received universal top reviews across mainstream, rock, blues folk and world music media. It saw the band return to the desert to record a largely acoustic set that documents the reality of contemporary life in the Sahara.
“Tinariwen have created their masterpiece” -MOJO
“A heavy, hypnotic but strangely calming piece of work” – Time Out
“As graceful and hypnotic as anything they have done” – Independent on Sunday
“An album of intimacy, introspection and incredible beauty; a communion with the sands” – Clash