"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

21 August 2011


Last November, Ibrahim travelled to Djanet with five members of Tinariwen determined to nail down the simple acoustic sound and poetry of ishumar adventurers sitting around a campfire, sharing cigarettes, stories, songs and a guitar. This had always been the context in which Tinariwen's music was heard before they picked up electric guitars, added bass and percussion and went global. It was a return to core values and desert tranquillity that's bottled to perfection on Tassili.

They were later joined by American art house rockers Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, who arrived at Djanet from New York. The pair had met Tinariwen a few years earlier at the Coachella festival in California and their friendship matured with further meetings and a special collaboration at the Womad festival in Abu Dhabi in 2010.

They were picked up in a Toyota 4x4 Land Cruiser by Eyadou Ag Leche, Tinariwen's bassist, and driven through the Saharan night to the campsite-cum-bush recording studio. Eyadou spiced up the journey by travelling down the obscure dirt tracks without any headlights on, a freaky experience for any fresh arrival.

Read the rest at The Guardian.

Tinariwen will release their latest album, Tassili, on August 30. Here's a song to learn and sing, "Tenere Taqhim Tossam" ...

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