TenhertTinariwen – Tenhert

Not many conscripted, desert-born soldiers of fortune have the time to learn to play instruments, fewer still manage to form bands, and you can count the numbers that reach world wide fame through their tribal take on rock music on the fingers of one hand. Even if the hand has lost all but one of its fingers in an unfortunate heavy machinery accident.

So it is that Tinariwen’s strange, almost mythical journey has taken them from being conscripts to Gaddafi’s Eighties army to touring the world, playing festivals from Glastonbury to Coachella, and being cited by Damon Alban and Chris Martin as influences.

Hailing originally from the the Tuareg tribe in the deserts of Africa’s largest country, Mali, Tinariwen play a curious blend of incanted, shamanistic drone rock that melds their own culture with heady doses of Hendrix-influenced guitars.

Although they formed in the early Eighties and were releasing music locally soon after, it is only really in this decade that their music has been widely available in the West. Each of their releases to date has found them more fans and increased their influence, culminating in this year’s critically lauded Imidiwan: Companions from which Tenhert is drawn.

Another ‘holiday’ snap accompanies the track seeing as I am still in the sunshine… Not quite the desert of Mali but I hope that the image’s faded tones and African influences are overt enough to be appropriate. Just as soon as I can afford a trip to north Africa to take something closer to Tinariwen’s home I will do!

You can order Imidiwan: Companions from Amazon here

You can also download the album from Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions

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