September 21, 2009

Off their new album, Imidiwan, another classic aptly described by guitarist and vocalist Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni as “a faithful record…a good rendition of our sound at its most natural and most ‘easy’…but a difficult album to make. We wanted to record in the desert because that’s where we feel most relaxed and happy. “But it’s also where we’re most distracted. We’re like a herd of animals in the desert, always wanting to go off left and right, each one to mind his or her business. Jean-Paul the producer always had to herd us back into the studio to make music.”

Thankfully, Jean-Paul did, making him the first Jean-Paul since Sartre to successfully corral a large group of people to do anything other than drink expensive coffee and smoke gaunt cigarettes. As I said in May, this is Malian gangsta’ rock: no-frills, warriors disguised as musicians, the type as likely to carry guns in their guitar cases, offering dirges to the desert and the dead bodies lost along the way. Gorgeous desolate noise. I’m patiently waiting on the Freddie Gibbs collabo.

Buy: Tinariwen-Imidiwan

MP3: Tinariwen-“Chegret”

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