“Tinariwen are poet-guitarists and soul rebels from the Southern Sahara desert. Their music expresses the aspirations of their people, the Kel Tamashek or ‘Touareg’ of the southern Sahara desert. The guitar is their weapon. Simplicity is Freedom.”
Tinariwen is collective of singers, songwriters, and musicians who come together in different combinations to play concerts and to record. This is because of the nomadic lifestyle of the Tuareg people and the difficulties of transportation and communication in the Sahara region. The group has never brought exactly the same line-up on its international tours, though several members tour regularly. Their sound is primarily guitar-driven in the style known as assouf among the Tuareg people.
The band was formed in 1979 in Tamanrasset, Algeria, but returned to Mali after a cease-fire in the 1990s. The group first started to gain a following outside the Sahara region in 2001 with the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions, and with performances at Festival au Désert in Mali and the Roskilde festival in Denmark. Their popularity rose internationally with the release of the critically acclaimed Aman Iman in 2007.
Emaar is their sixth album and, due to political instability in their country, the first album recorded away from their homeland. But they were able to record it in another desert: Joshua Tree, California.
“We built a studio in a big house in Joshua Tree. Everybody in the same room, with no separation. We wanted something which sounded natural and live. The new songs of this album talk about what we feel today. The Tuareg issues, the need of being recognized by the administration of our country. But also some poetic ways of describing our feelings. The Tamasheq language is using a lot of metaphors, and it comes from the old traditional Tuareg poetry that tells about the Tuareg tribes, their adventures in the desert, the wars, but also the beauty of the desert, the sky, the lands, and the assouf, our blues, and nostalgia of an old time.”
Song “Islegh Taghram Tifhamam” and it’s original music video pictures the mood of Emaar album and Tinariwen style in general. Enjoy!