Tag Archives: Berber music

Tinariwen

Tinariwen are often associated with just one image: that of Touareg rebels leading the charge, machine gun in hand and electric guitar slung over the shoulder. The band ditch this cliché on their fifth album ‘Tassili’ and it’s for the best. The founding members abandoned their weapons long ago and on this new album they have engineered a minor aesthetic revolution by setting the electric guitar – the instrument which became their mascot and made them famous – to one side and giving pride of place to acoustic sounds, recorded right in the heart of the desert, which is the landscape of their existence, the cradle of their culture and the source of their inspiration. You might even call this radical move a return to the very essence of their art, a return which, paradoxically, has also opened the doors to some intriguing collaborations with members of TV On The Radio, Nels Cline (Wilco’s guitarist) or The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.