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Tassili (Deluxe Edition)

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Formed in a Libyan refugee camp more than 20 years ago, Tinariwen crossed over to Western audiences with their previous two releases, 2007’s Aman Iman and 2009’s Imidiwan. Though they’re members of the nomadic Tuareg tribe native to Mali, Tinariwen do not play traditional Tuareg music. Influenced by electric blues as much as local Arab or West African sounds, Tinariwen has created their own unique musical strain. Performed on acoustic guitars, Tassili (the name of the Algerian desert where this was recorded) is their sparest release so far, yet its impact remains as deep and immediate as the albums featuring electric instruments. Hypnotic, intertwining guitars mix with droning, call-and-response vocals, hand drums, and clapping to create a rich and complex sound that is completely absorbing. As always they deliver some tough, funky grooves, but it’s the quieter, breathtakingly beautiful tracks like “Walla Illa,” “Tameyawt,” and “Iswegh Attay” that reveal a different side to the band. Mesmerizing and evocative, this is another sublime release by these masters of the desert blues.


Formed: 1979 in Azawad, Mali

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tinariwen is a Tuareg group that performs a guitar-centric branch of Malian music that, to the untrained ear, is reminiscent of Ali Farka Touré's, but is far more rock-oriented and percussive. All of the band's musicians originate from the southern Sahara; the group's name, meaning "empty places," is a reflection of their land of origin. The band formed in the rebel camps of Colonel Gaddafi, as each of the musicians had been forced from their nomadic lifestyle into involuntary military service. Surrounded...
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Tassili (Deluxe Edition), Tinariwen
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  • $12.99
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: Aug 29, 2011

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