88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Different desert, same Tinariwen

by Marcus Doucette

Marcus Doucette

Nomadic Tuareg rockers Tinariwen are a band whose very sound is evocative of the forlorn Saharan land from which they hail. In the Amazigh, Tinariwen means 'desert' and rather than being an place of emptiness, the desert Tinariwen evokes is full of a spritual grandeur that reaches deeply with a perfect impartiality. A sound that's stately but informal, measured yet wild and a clean grittiness like desert sand being made into glass. Clearly, I'm smitten with the sound; and hyped to hear they've got a new album on the way.

Tinariwen's latest, Emmaar sounds great so far with the single I played at 10am, "Toumast Tincha" being the one available for now. The rest is set for release February 10th and is their second for ANTI Records. Tinariwen continues to channel the soul of the desert, though this one departs from past releases with the band shifting Saharan Sands to steep this one in Joshua State Park. In a landscape that mirrors theirs the band lets loose a low-key jam and reflects on the conflict Mali is enduring with "Toumast Tincha (The People Have Been Sold Out)." A song that warns of forced peace being false peace. Indeed.