Renowned Saharan band Tinariwen have released a powerful and evocative new album entitled Elwan.
A record that Mojo writes, is “one to point to the next time somebody pronounces there are no decent protest songs anymore.”
The group has released a video for the track “Sastanàqqàm” which perfectly evokes the love, longing and defiance of the new record. The clip was inspired, and depicts. a series of true life events.
Some years back Tinariwen’s music has found shelter in the hearts of six young musicians from M’hamid el Ghizlane. They were mere boys when the desert rockers first visited, but in subsequent years they learned the band’s songbook note for note.
When Tinariwen returned to M’hamid to record Elwan, these young disciples had achieved a mastery of the desert guitar repertoire and the torch had been passed. The young musicians were invited to perform ‘Sastaqanam,’ but first the members of Tinariwen wrapped new turbans around the heads of their young acolytes, marking not only the passage from boyhood to manhood, but the transmission of their music across generations.
Watch the video care of Noisey: https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/theres-no-borders-for-art-watch-tinariwens-video-for-sastanaqqam
In recent years, Tinariwen’s homeland, a Saharan mountain range between north-eastern Mali and southern Algeria, has been transformed into a conflict zone. While the songs on the new record evoke those cherished deserts of home, they were recorded a long way away in two distinctive bursts, recorded in both the California desert of Joshua Tree and in Southern Morocco
The record features guest performances from Kurt Vile, Matt Sweeney, Alain Johannes, Mark Lanegan and more, each song powerfully evoking a land that can no longer be found, with all that this implies in terms of emotional range, from nostalgia for a joyous past to the tragic recent loss of a territory, and of the dream that it nourished.
The album has already earned early praise from the critics.
“It's the haunted croak of the band's main singers, Ibrahim and Abdallah, that are the main draw: the sound of heartbroken gangleader, the world-weary soldier, bravado replaced by tenderness. It's a sound that suits them perfectly.” - Uncut
“As always, no melancholy is more sincere and no tale more elegantly told than Tinariwen’s” -Popmatters
“The main draw continues to be Tinariwen itself — with the band's swirling guitars, rhythms inspired by the gait of camels and gutturally declaimed poetry.” - NPR
“Different deserts, same hypnotic groove….They are still the champions of the genre they created.” - The Guardian
“A hypnotic piece of work, one that still resonates as blues despite coming from a very different culture” - Stereogum
“However much they conjure up campfire laments, you're rarely more than a few minutes from kick-ass riffs and percussive abandon” - Q Magazine
Tinariwen have also announced dates for their 2017 headline tour of North America, beginning this March 30th in California.
30 MARCH 2017 – SOLANA BEACH, CA : BELLY UP TAVERN
31 MARCH 2017 – LOS ANGELES, CA : THE FONDA THEATRE
01 APRIL 2017 – BERKELEY, CA : THE UC THEATRE
02 APRIL 2017 – PORTLAND, OR : REVOLUTION HALL
04 APRIL 2017 – SEATTLE, WA : BENAROYA HALL
05 APRIL 2017 – VANCOUVER, BC : CHAN CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
7 APRIL 2017 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT : THE STATE ROOM
08 APRIL 2017 – DENVER, CO: SWALLOW HILL MUSIC ASSOCIATION
10 APRIL 2017 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN : CEDAR CULTURAL CENTER
11 APRIL 2017 – CHICAGO, IL : OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC
12 APRIL 2017 – TORONTO, ONT : MASSEY HALL
13 APRIL 2017 – MONTREAL, QC : PLACE DES ARTS
14 APRIL 2017 – BOSTON, MA : ROYALE
15 APRIL 2017 – BROOKLYN, NY : BROOKLYN BOWL
16 APRIL 2017 – BROOKLYN, NY : BROOKLYN BOWL
18 APRIL 2017 – PHILADELPHIA, PA : UNION TRANSFER
19 APRIL 2017 – WASHINGTON, DC : BARNS AT WOLF TRAP
21 APRIL 2017 – PITTSBURGH, PA : CARNEGIE