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Imidiwan: Companions
Imidiwan: Companions
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music
Legendary poet guitarists and soul rebels Tinariwen release their long-awaited follow up to the award-winning 'Aman Iman' CD. 'IMIDIWAN: Companions' is a return to the source. The album was recorded last winter in the dept...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Tinariwen
Title: Imidiwan: Companions
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 7/7/2009
Album Type: Import
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 5051083044004, 5051083044912


Album Description
Legendary poet guitarists and soul rebels Tinariwen release their long-awaited follow up to the award-winning 'Aman Iman' CD. 'IMIDIWAN: Companions' is a return to the source. The album was recorded last winter in the depths of the southern Sahara desert by engineer / producer Jean-Paul Romann. It features thirteen songs composed and sung by Ibrahim 'Abaraybone', Hassan 'Le Lion', Abdallah 'Catastrophe', Mohammed 'Japonais' and Abdallah 'Intidao'. The themes are as powerful as ever; homesickness, loss, the struggle for freedom and love of the desert. The mood is vintage Tinariwen; defiant, fragile, raw and uncompromisingly real. 'IMIDIWAN' is reaffirms Tinariwen's global status as one of the most popular and significant groups ever to have come out of West Africa. The CD is accompanied by a DVD of a short film shot on location in the Sahara by French film maker Jessy Nottola.

CD Reviews

It's impossiblbe to resist to their trancey, slinky desert g
Jazz for the dappers | 07/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Tinariwen (former guerrillas from the depths of the Malian Sahara) are Touareg rockers dressed in flowing indigo robes wielding electric guitars.
This is their forth album, which takes a step back from the sonic clarity of "Aman Iman: Water Is Life", in favour of a rootsier sound.
They recorded this album out in the Sahara, in the remote oasis of Tessalit, and this is audible in the raw, sandy grit of the 13 tracks.
The fundamentals are unchanged and on this one they are bravely sticking to what they do best: the rolling, laid-back rhythmic grooves; powerful, intricate guitar exchanges; bluesy, call-and-response vocals, echoing with desert soul - while there's a greater emphasis on the poetic, meditative qualities of desert life, whether on the intense "Tamdjeras Assis" ("Regret Is a Storm") or the graceful "Chabiba", a hymn to youth.
"Tenhert" matches a light blues riff against rapid-fire vocals, and "Kel Tamashek" is a glorious stomping work-out.
"Lulla" is glorious, sounding like a heavy, late-night celebration with fiery guitar licks and distant ululations.
It's impossiblbe to resist to their trancey pieces and their rousing, slinky desert blues.
At the end of the listening, you are under their spell, caught and locked into their shamanic groove.
Aman Iman: Water is Life
The Magic Couple"
Trippy South Saharan folk-blues - with killer rhythms
Colin Spence | Formby, UK | 07/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In the UK, recent years have seen a trend developing whereby African music is being accorded a higher profile. I've never bought an album of African music before but, as I am quite a trendy person myself, I thought the release of 'Imidiwan : Companions', by Tinariwen, presented an ideal opportunity for me to jump on the bandwagon.

The music combines elements of American blues with North African rhythms; it's a highly textured (and somewhat bewildering) blend of bluesy guitar riffs, hypnotic rhythms, primordial drones, some unusual time signatures, chant-like vocals and unintelligible lyrics. All of the lyrics are sung in Tamasheq (which sounds a bit like Arabic), but the liner notes provide English translations and these indicate contemporary folk themes. The band's basic instrumental line-up consists of 1st. and 2nd. electric guitars, acoustic guitar and bass guitar, with each of the electric/acoustic guitar players taking the lead on a selection of the songs; rhythm guitar can be heard in the mix also, and percussion comes from a variety of hand-struck traditional instruments. The lead guitarists also provide the lead vocals, and the male/female backing vocalists sing in a style that is often loose, occasionally a bit chaotic, but usually in harmony. Amazon place the album in the 'Dance & Electronic' category - well, I guess you can dance to some of it, but 'electronic'???

I rather liked the music - although I don't always feel comfortable with it (maybe that's part of the appeal?). All the same, it's only going to be a matter of time before one or two of Tinariwen's earlier albums will find their way onto my CD rack. Whilst the music is unlikely have a universal appeal, I imagine some fans of blues music will find it of interest; also, devotees of psychedelic rock may appreciate some of its 'lysergic' qualities.

The music CD comes with a DVD which contains a 30 minute documentary. This shows the band members rehearsing and recording, chatting about Tuareg culture and their own music, and doing a few impromptu local gigs. The film also features a quite lot of sand, several camels, a fleet of 4x4s and a vegetable patch. English sub-titles are provided, so there's no need to brush up on your Tamasheq."
Desert Warrior Blues!
Nse Ette | Lagos, Nigeria | 07/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Tinariwen are a band of exiled Touareg freedom fighters from Mali once conscripted into Colonel Gaddafi's army (they would often go into battle with guitars strapped to their backs). Theirs is a psychedelic mix of Folk, Blues, with Arabic influences, sung in the Berber language Tamasheq. The album has a nice campfire ambience, and yes, guitars feature prominently. All kinds; Blues, Electric, Sitar-like ones.

Highlights on the disc include the clap-filled "Lulla", the electric guitar-driven Bluesey "Tenhert", the soothing pair of "Enseqi Ehad Didagh" (with some sitar-sounding string instrument) and the dreamy "Chegret" (the latter with calming harmonies - both are my favourites), the Santana-sounding pair of "Tahult in" and "Imazaghen N Adagh" (with lovely tapped percussion), and closing cut, the shuffling "Ere tasfata Adouni" (with Santana-style guitar licks and picking up speed towards the end).

Joyous and mournful all at once, this is beautiful Blues from the desert."