Tinariwen Announces reissues
Tinariwen have announced the reissue of Kel Tinariwen, marking the project’s first-ever official release since it appeared in 1992 locally in Mali on cassette, out November 4th via Wedge. In conjunction, they share its lead single and album closer, “Arghane Manine.” The track skips with percussion, grooving bass, and twangs of electric guitar. Across “Arghana Manine,” vocals call back and forth to each other. Kel Tinariwen will see release alongside two additional Tinariwen reissues, Aman Iman: Water Is Life and Imidiwan: Companion, out for the first time on vinyl the same day via Craft Recordings.
A revelatory discovery in the Tinariwen archives, Kel Tinariwen is an early cassette tape recorded in the early 90s that never received a wider release, and sheds new light on the band’s already rich history. Not having yet developed the fuller band sound they became internationally established with, Kel Tinariwen features their trademark hypnotic guitar lines and call-and-response vocals weaving in between raw drum machine rhythms and keyboard melodies that almost evoke an Arabic take on 80s synth-pop.
In the summer of 1991, four members of Tinariwen traveled to Abidjan in Ivory Coast to record the band’s first official release, Kel Tinariwen. They were Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni, Hassan Ag Touhami aka ‘Abin Abin,’ Kedou Ag Ossad and Liya Ag Ablil aka ‘Diarra.’ The project was the brainchild of KeltoumSennhauser, a painter, poet and songwriter of mixed parentage (her father was a Sonhrai, her mother a Touareg), who grew up partly in Bamako, partly in the Kidal region of north-eastern Mali, the homeland of all the members of Tinariwen. Like so many Touareg from that region, Keltoum and her family had been forced to emigrate by the droughts that tore the Touareg world apart in the mid-1970s and 1980s, as well as all the oppression and suffering that had followed independence in 1960. Keltoum became deeply involved in the Touareg struggle for freedom and self-determination and saw music in general and music of Tinariwen in particular as an essential part of that struggle.
Kel Tinariwen was never heard outside of the local community that traded cassettes back in 1992 – an activity that was important to the movement, as Keltoum explains: “I think the cassette played a crucial role as a tool of communication, a tool that was very dear to us. It served to raise awareness and awaken the consciences of those who felt that everything was already lost, or that we didn’t have the wherewithal to win our struggle. It allowed the Touareg world to develop its own conscience and move forward. In our milieu, the only thing that can make us question ourselves is music. Because we listen to a lot of music, we love music, we love poetry. We don’t read. We’re not a people who read. So, the only reading we have, about ourselves and about the outside world, is music.” Thirty years later, the album is finally seeing an official release, on vinyl, CD, and cassette to pay homage to its original format.
Alongside Kel Tinariwen, Tinariwen are also reissuing Aman Iman: Water Is Life and Imidiwan: Companions – their third and fourth studio albums respectively. A blend of West African traditional music and electrified rock’n’roll –a sound that critics have called “desert blues.” Aman Iman: Water Is Life was Tinariwen’s third studio album, originally released in 2007, and recorded in Mali’s capital, Bamako. Produced by Justin Adams (Robert Plant’s guitarist and producer of the Tinariwen’s debut album The Radio Tisdas Sessions), and recording engineer Ben Findlay. The whole Tinariwen story breathes through its twelve songs, beginning with the first Touareg rebellion of 1963, which lies at the root of so much pain and trauma in the Malian Touareg mindset and which is vividly recalled by Ibrahim in his brooding song ‘Soixante Trois..’
Imidiwan: Companions was the band’s fourth album, and it possesses all the elements that have made them so alluring; raw simplicity, melodic beauty, songs ranging from the epic and universal to the intimate and personal. The 13-track album, produced by Jean-Paul Romann, was recorded in Tessalit, the Malian desert village home of band members Ibrahim Ag Alhabib and Hassan Ag Touhami.
In advance of the three reissues’ release, the Touareg collective will return to North American this September and October. After appearances at End of the Road, Manchester Psych Fest, and The Spree Festival in the UK, Tinariwen will kick off their North American tour in Chicago on Fri. Sept. 9th.
1. À L’Histoire
2. Khedou Khedou
3. Adounia Tarha
4. Matadjem Yinmexan
5. Awa Idjan War Infa Iman
6. Sendad Eghlalan
7. Sendad Eghlalan
8. Arghane Manine
Aman Iman: Water Is Life
1. Cler Achel
2. Mano Dayak
3. Matadjem Yinmixan
5. Soixante Trois
7. Imidiwan WinakaliN
8. Awa Didjen
9. Ikyadarh Dim
10. Tamatant Tilay
12. Izarharh Tenere
1. Imidiwan Afrik Tendam
4. Enseqi Ehad Didagh
5. Tahult In
6. Tamodjerazt Assis
8. Imazighen N Adagh
9. Tenalle Chegret
10. Kel Tamashek
11. Assuf Ag Assuf
13. Ere Tasfata Adounia
Tinariwen 2022 Tour Dates:
Fri. Sept. 2 – Sixpenny Handley, UK @ End of the Road Festival
Sat. Sept. 3 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Psych Fest
Sun. Sept. 4 – Paisley, UK @ The Spree Festival
Fri. Sept. 9 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
Sat. Sept. 10 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Cedar Cultural Center
Mon. Sept. 12 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Tue. Sept. 13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Thu. Sept. 15 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Fri. Sept. 16 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Theatre
Sat. Sept. 17 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Mon. Sept. 19 – Berkeley, CA @ The UC Theatre
Tue. Sept. 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theatre
Wed. Sept. 21 – Phoenix, AZ @ Musical Instrument Museum Theater
Fri. Sept. 23 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk – Indoor
Sat. Sept. 24 – Fort Worth, TX @ Tulips
Sun. Sept. 25 – Houston, TX @ The Heights Theater
Tue. Sept. 27 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
Thu. Sept. 29 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom
Fri. Sept. 30 – Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere
Sat. Oct. 1 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Mon. Oct. 3 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Tue. Oct. 4 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre
Wed. Oct. 5 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair Music Hall
Fri. Oct. 7 – Montreal, QC @ Rialto Theatre
Sat. Oct. 8 – Toronto, ON @ The Danforth Music Hall
Order Tickets for tinariwen HERE
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