Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Radio Tisdas Sessions
Genres: World Music, Pop
Word of Tinariwen, or rather one of its members, first spread in 2001 when Lo'Jo played a festival in Mali. When the sound system was stolen en route to the festival site, Tinariwen guitarist Kheddou--a celebrated desert w... more »
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Word of Tinariwen, or rather one of its members, first spread in 2001 when Lo'Jo played a festival in Mali. When the sound system was stolen en route to the festival site, Tinariwen guitarist Kheddou--a celebrated desert warrior--found the bandits and made them give it back. The band actually formed in 1982 in Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi's rebel camp, but these desert warriors soon concentrated on their Malian homeland. As with their countrymen Ali Farka Toure and Boubacar Traoré, there is a direct line between Tinariwen's desert songs and the blues. Composed of six guitarists-vocalists, a percussionist, and three backup singers, the group plays hypnotic blues figures that fit nicely next to galloping local rhythms. The singers take turns telling their stories, often in call-and-response style. --Tad Hendrickson
Desert Sands: Beautiful Notes on the Wind
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 01/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a mix of modern and traditional music created by a nomadic tribe from the Sub-Sahara desert. The tribe officially lives in the country of Mali but at the turn of the century the French occupied their land. The fierce independent nature of the people is expressed through their music. The liner notes are required to understand the theme of the songs: methods to achieve freedom and independence under restrictions and occupation. This group was not popular under the French occupation at the turn of the century nor while Mali became a country; they did not accept the "status quo", of other people placing artificial borders on their lifestyle. The music reflects their free spirit: it is ambient, uninhibited, natural,
and does not possess the over-powering percussion often associated with nomadic Arabic people. There are male vocals with a great guitar rhythm and melody ... sometimes there is a female chorus that responds to the male vocals. This is traditional music called "Tishoumaren" or "Ishumar" for short that is in the "new style" accompanied by guitar instead of the traditional lute ... The group was influenced by modern guitarists & pop musicians such as Bob Marley, John Lennon, & Bob Dylan (the liner notes inform us). While there is an Arabic sound to the language, the language is called "Kel Tamashek".
There is a plaintif quality to the vocals, reminding one of the struggle for rights and freedom while being overpowered by outside influences. They basically sing about the right to survive and exist ... During rebellious times, the music was banned in Mali and Algeria in the 1980s - even selling it on the black market resulted in beatings or worse by the authorities. In every sense this is a historical recording of the struggles for freedom and the ability to stay alive of a nomadic people, who are threatened essentially by modern politics and civilization: this is what the vocalists are singing about. The tribe has been marginalized by the ability of outsiders to swallow up their land and territory ... We can thank a French musicican and British recording studio mix master for going to Kidal, mali and recording sessions at Radio Tisdas for our listening pleasure. This is a valuable recording on many levels: spiritual, political, and mostly human level. It is music that represents a dream for independence that may always be just out of reach --- these musicians and many tribesmen went to Libya with the hope of gaining help in their cause, when in essence they themselves were used as foot soldiers (per the liner notes). Now: they have settled down to a more mundane existence but they express their needs through this great music. It is worth hearing and remembering their cause! Erika Borsos (erikab93)"
Strongly addictive blend
Dr. Green | Seattle | 10/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a person with extremely catholic taste in music. But, up 'til now, I've reacted to so-called "world beat" music as I would if I'd seen a coffee stand advertising fair trade shade-grown organic blend: I'd conclude their heart's in the right place, then run quickly in the other direction.
I stumbled upon Tinariwen completely by accident. Robert Plant had compiled a music CD for a British music magazine, and along with his old blues favorites, he included "Imidiwaren." The track was not only a stand-out favorite, it was a total earworm. I broke down and ordered Radio Tisdas Sessions, and several months later, it's still at the top of my playlist. Somewhere along the way, I also picked up Tinariwen's other CD, Amassakoul (also incredible), and am currently obsessively seeking out any track I can possibly find from this incredible band.
What can I say about the music? I know next to nothing about the band itself, and actually learned a lot by reading several highly informed reviews here. Needless to say, I can't make heads or tails of the band's lyrics (though at this point, I'd love to find a lyric sheet, so I can sing along). It's haunting, but funky, with crazy danceable rhythms and badass electric guitars. I'm also very taken by the call-and-reponse style vocals--it sounds like virtually everone in the band sings at one point or another. Think Sly and the Family Stone without that chick who can only scream. All I can say is, when we visited Tunisia a few years back, I was desperately hoping to encounter music like this (though we were in actuality confronted by sublimely terrible Eurodisco music at every point).
Oh, and I also found this completely righteous organic coffee blend...."
Dr. Green | 02/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hypnotic, fabulous sounds from this Taureg group. I admit to having a huge sweet spot for their guitar work, and have played the cd obsessively since purchasing it. The blend of guitar and North African-like sound is steady, but never boring. The Radio Tisdas Sessions cd is probably my most successful gamble on an unknown artist. Where do I find more?"