Eat Your Own Ears and Junction 2 Music present:
The Quietus “It is Tamikrest who have emerged from the Sahara with the most interesting material … It’s a super sound, with an effortless, yet focused groove.”
Tamikrest formed in 2006 and are from Kidal, a remote desert town in the northwest of the Sahara, some 2,000 kilometres north of the capital Bamako. The band members are all Tuareg, a group of people that are spread all over North and some of West Africa, i.e. Niger, Mali, Algeria, Burkina Faso and Libya. Between 1990 and 1995 a fight evolved into a bloody civil war. After the war many of the rebel fighters traded their Kalashnikovs and hand grenades for guitars and microphones. When new riots broke out in 2006, Ousmane Ag Mossa and his friend Cheick Ag Tiglia decided not to fight with weapons, but to call attention to the Tuareg’s cause with musical means.
Tamikrest are often called Tinariwen’s little brothers and there definitely are parallels to draw between these two Saharan bands, but when Tamikrest stepped onto the scene the stakes were raised. Tamikrest take the traditional Tuareg sound and throw their own sound influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and Dire Straits into the mix. They take generators deep into the desert in search of the perfect synthesis of their traditional ritual drumming and the music of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. Other bands have stepped onto the scene following the success of Tinariwen on the world stage, but it is Tamikrest who hold up the torch and lead the way. Tamikrest’s leader Ousmane Ag Mossa is quick to admit his influences: “When I was young I listened to a lot of traditional Tuareg music as well as Tinariwen. There was no other music..it was only in 2000 that I had access to cassettes of Bob Marley and Dire Straits. That changed my musical vision … Music is just music, no matter where it comes from… My goal is to broaden my horizon step by step.”
With their second album “Toumastin” the young Tuareg rebels create their own universe using even brighter colours. The enchanted ancient mystique of the songs captures the ear immediately, but as the music carries on the band bridges the gap between the African Blues and hypnotic dub, psychedelic funk and an almost supernatural kind of desert garage. The guitars are more offensive, the groove deepens and the Tamaschek chants are merging with the meandering guitar riffs like a caravan voyage through ancient times. “A solid follow-up to consolidate the band’s place at the peak of the rockiest end of the desert blues outcrop.” fRoots. Tamikrest are ready to embrace the future while proudly maintaining the rich tradition of their folk.
Keep your ears to the ground and listen out for their third album which is fast approaching us and set to be released at the end of this Summer. If the last two albums are anything to go by we are in for another spectacular experience of saharan rock and blues “Tamikrest are a relentless, unstoppable force.” MusicOMH
Plus support from TARQ BOWEN