Thursday, August 03, 2006


Tinariwen - Imidiwaren

Tinariwen - Nar Djenetbouba

Tamashek, the language of the Kel Tamashek of the Sahara desert, contains dozens of words for camel. This tribe of wandering nomads and traders are the spirit of the Sahara desert, and you can hear it. I can only describe it like I would the desert had I ever been there. Its breezy but hot, with life springing up out of the most unexpected places. With the emergence of western technology the electric guitar was incorporated into their folk music and the result is something you just have to hear.
Living as such in the desert and carrying goods from one side of north africa to the other, the Tamashek have faced oppression over the years in a conflict that still rages today in and around Libya. From Mali to France the haves have been trying to stake a claim on the land and it was these people who suffered. So this music is also the sound of an underground resistance and unification of the Tamashek. Their tapes were even banned for some time in Mali and Algeria. There is life here in these songs, its something real but still you cannot wrap your hands around it.