Tinariwen: Aman Imam

By: Chris Pacifico

Always garbed like the Nomads they are, Tinariwen wander all over a hot and muggy sandstorm of wafting blues, soul and otherworldly delights of their native land of Mali. While the West African desert country is a deeply impoverished nation, it's nice to see that a band like Tinariwen can still evoke its 15th century glory days when it was one of the world's leading artistic and intellectual epicenters.

When listening to Aman Imam: Water is Life (World Village), one can almost feel the intense heat and humid winds of the Sahara while grooving out to lead guitar man and vocalist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib's wiry method of blues-based picking, a somewhat sharp sound to the naked ear.

Tinariwen's mixture of French and Tamashek in their lyrics makes their eloquence all the more enigmatically exotic. The opener "Cler Achel" sees the chanting like a vintage Bollywood film soundtrack atop supple polyrhythms. "Ahimana" is a sooty campfire hymn-a-long with clip-clopping, psychedelic rhythms and slinky mantras reminiscent of King Sunny Ade that slowly dashes upward and upward, yet is in no way a crescendo. Speaking of old world music in the vinyl vault, the brittle island dub and earthy resonance of "Toumast" and "Imidiwan Winakalin" got me digging through my crates to find my Cymande records.

Aman Iman is probably the most unfettered studio release yet by Tinariwen. Producer Justin Adams, who plays guitarist in Robert Plant's Strange Sensation, goes light on the technological touches to create a full-bodied, simmering listen.

JamBase | Mali
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[Published on: 8/1/07]

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Comments

mrkrinkle6884 Sat 8/4/2007 01:42PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

mrkrinkle6884

Never herd of them but its sounds very interesting. I will go listen and return with a short summary of my own which you will be FORCED to read seeing as how I will be the first comment.

Lets just hope I get back in time to make my review the second post.....

mrkrinkle6884 Sun 8/5/2007 09:49AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

mrkrinkle6884

I could never find a copy..... alas I have failed

Makisupa_McGee Tue 8/7/2007 11:30AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Makisupa_McGee

I have actually had the distinct and honnorable pleasure of seeing these guys live in San Fran...something i'll never forget.

Ive also heard both of the two previous albums (there may be more but im familiar w 2 of em) and loved em, so Im sure I'll think this one is awesome, too.

Lemme just tell you that these guys are amazing. They convey the centuries of hardship thier poeple have had to endure because they live in a crappy desert while giving the listener something can really groove to.

ErichBreakfast Tue 8/7/2007 10:40PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I walked into Borders one day and stumbled upon this album randomly. I bought it about a week later and I can't say enough good things about it. Great guitar tone, beautiful sounding language, excellent tunes and melodies, and most of all, amazing grooves.

Go Africa.

- Erich

gmoo Fri 8/10/2007 02:26PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

gmoo

Just listend to it. I LOVE this sort of music. Good shit.