The story of Amadjar – the upcoming album from the Grammy award-winning Tuareg musicians Tinariwen – begins at the end of October 2018 at the Taragalte Festival of nomadic cultures in the Moroccan Sahara. Following their appearance at the festival, Tinariwen hit the road and headed for Mauritania, via southern Morocco, Western Sahara and the Atlantic coast, to hook up with the griot singer Noura Mint Seymali and set up and record their new album there. Accompanied by their French production team, who arrived in an old camper van that had been converted into a makeshift studio, Tinariwen journey to the capital of Mauritania over an approximate fortnight. Every evening, the caravan stopped to set up camp and the members of the group got to work under the stars to prepare for the recording, talking things through and letting their guitar motifs, thoughts, and long-buried songs come. Then, during a final two-week camp in the desert, the band – joined by Seymali and her guitarist husband, Jeiche Ould Chigaly – recorded their songs under large tent in a few live takes, without headphones or effects. Once recorded, a host of Western musicians added instrumentation including violin from Warren Elllis of the Bad Seeds, mandolin and charango courtesy of Micah Nelson, and guitars from Stephen O’Malley. This nomadic album, recorded in a natural setting, is as close as you can get to the ‘soul’ of Tinariwen, a group of musicians that in every sense, exist far-beyond their 17-year tenure and extensive discography of critically-acclaimed albums.
Listen to the first single, “Taqkal Tarha,” which features Micah Nelson (Particle Kid, Neil Young And Promise Of The Real). The song has more of an American country sound than any other previous Tinariwen track. Written by Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni, second single “Zawal” is about witnessing the first solar eclipse. Most people are terrified and believe it is the last judgment, but the narrator remains unconcerned and keeps riding his dromedary across the desert.
“Tinariwen can provide exultation and encouragement like few other ensembles, on any continent.” -Pitchfork
RIYL: Bombino, The Very Best, Ali Farka Toure, Group Doueh, Goat, Amadou & Mariam, Fela Kuti, Combo Chimbita
Goes For Adds 7/30