This week it was a tossup between Tinariwen’s first album ‘The Radia Tisdas Sessions’ and ‘Aman Iman’ more commonly known in the West as Water is Life. In the end I settled for the latter simply because I found a Youtube stream for the full album which I couldn’t for the former. I highly recommend both, and suggest the Radio Tisdas as your starter if you like a more primal sound.
Tinariwen are actually former Touareg guerilla freedom fighters from Mali who literally swapped swords & AK47s for electric guitars. The lead guitarist singer alone apparently carries some 17 bullet wounds and saw his father killed in front of him as a child. So with that background one would expect a somewhat angry and violent approach to all things in life, n’est-ce pas?
Actually, Tinariwen the band are difficult to pigeonhole - Touareg/Arabic African mild-Protest, folky, world music flavoured, Electric-Blues with a righteous dash of rock, reggae with great roots electric guitar, together with a dash of odds & ends of anything else they heard and fancied over the years and simply adapted to their style! There is nothing else quite like it really.
Any footage I have seen of them playing live they simply are having a party, not just performing for an audience. So go on, give it a try, even for one or 2 tracks only - you owe them and yourself that at least!
This link (if I did it right) should take you to a stream of the full Water is Life album - 12 tracks long. Enjoy.
Unfortunately I don’t do Spotify or Tweezer or Grubby or Whatchamacallit or any of the other online services, so could someone who does please help out as appropriate?
Here is a 14 minute clip recorded live in the desert one night for a radio session - somewhat atmospheric!
I trust a few of you brave my choice, discover something new and enjoy! If you do like this, Most definitely explore their other albums, starting with Radio Tisdas Sessions (my personal favourite).