Music Reviews


The Radio Tisdas Sessions

World Village

For millennia the Tuareg (or Kel Tamashek; from which Tinariwen hails) have been roaming the Sahara, and for over 30 years, they’d been carrying out a futile war for independence in Mali. Fortunately for UN peacekeepers and music fans alike, the Tuareg put down their guns in the mid-‘90s and Tinariwen (who’d formed in ‘82) were allowed to spread their musical message among their people around Mali and now globally. While the Tuareg may have been rejecting all things Malian, Tinariwen most definitely was not. Their musical style may be called Tishoumaren, but it is pure Malian blues – that melodic, yet visceral form of music being made famous by acts like Ali Farka Toure, Habib Koite, and Amadou & Miriam and is so closely linked to American blues that Putumayo even came out with the compilation Mali To Memphis and Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal have both teamed up with some of Mali’s best musicians. For those of you out there familiar with the raw splendor of Mali’s music, this disc is a must-have. There’s a mournful excitement to the music which is hard to describe. There are depths here that few musicians can touch, yet Tinariwen plucks your heartstrings immaculately as you descend – leaving you quite confused in their melancholic celebration. Radio Tisdas is truly immaculate, in that dogma-laden medieval Catholic cathedral way – all blood and glory.

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