TINARIWEN ‘Amadjar’ – CD


Available on backorder

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Tinariwen has been in existence, in one form or another, since 1979. Never resorting to cliche, they continue to be just as inspired by the universal themes of love, politics and nature as they always have been. For their ninth album, the nine-piece group took inspiration from the desert breeze as they rehearsed and wrote their music in the Moroccan Sahara en route to recording in Mauritania. The result is Amadjar, an impressionistic and imaginative record with an incredibly musical delivery.

Amadjar features a host of impressive guests, including Bad Seeds co-founder Warren Ellis looping a plaintive violin line on Mhadjar Yassouf Idjan and bowing with distorted reverb on the clattering “Iklam Dglour”, while Cass McCombs provides a floating falsetto melody and spoken word for “Kel Tinawen”. But the true artistry comes from the deft interplay between the younger and long-serving members of Tinawiren: percussionist Said Ag Ayad’s polyrhythms with bassist Eyadou Ag Leche, the joyous choral backing vocals from all members, and, crucially, the weather-worn delivery of founding lead singer Ibrahim Ag Alhabib tying each composition together.

Tinariwen’s music has a beating heart to it and a genius for connecting the group’s specific experiences to a broader audience. No one puts the soul of the Sahara into music so intimately and ingeniously as Tinariwen, and Amadjar is a particularly well-polished jewel.