Veteran Taureg music collective Tinariwen (Deserts), now easing into their fifth decade with a recording history spanning almost two, are set to release their new album Amadjar next month and have just shared a third track, the folk and blues inspired ‘Kel Tinawen’. Founder and lead guitarist/vocalist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib’s yearning vocals are exquisitely complemented by the talents of backing vocalists Lala and Aicha. His delicate lead slowly emerges from the rhythmic affray created by acoustic guitarist Said Ag Ayad Djembe who is adorned in that endeavour by Eyadou Ag Leche who ordinarily plays bass and guest Cass McCombs who also briefly contributes spoken word and backing vocals. The rhythm of the two guitars is given expanse by seemingly effortless percussion work of Amar Chaoui and rendered complete by the rest of the recording collective’s signature handclaps.

Amadjar, meaning Unknown Visitor in Tamashek was again recorded in exile where the band have found themselves on and off over the best part of its existence. Sessions were recorded on the road in both in both Western Sahara and Mauritania with the final session under an open air tent during a 15 day trek in the desert surrounding the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott, west to their off limits home in adjacent Mali. It is by want and necessity a political document but it is also one that focuses more deeply inward reflecting an inner exile where the sense of loss and longing that is seemingly unending. But also one that records the constant shifts and movement and determined survival of the group, intrinsic to the decades old struggle for a peaceful autonomous Taureg homeland. In addition to McCombs, Amadjar features a number of international guests namely Noura Mint Seymali, Warren Ellis, Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O)))), Jeiche Ould Chighaly, Rodolphe Burger and Micah Nelson and will be available on Anti- on September 6. Listen to ‘Kel Tinawen’ below and pre-order the album here.


1. Tenere Maloulat (feat. Warren Ellis)
2. Zawal (feat. Warren Ellis, Noura Mint Seymali, Jeiche Ould Chighaly) 
3. Amalouna (feat. Noura Mint Seymali, Stephen O’Malley)
4. Taqkal Tarha (feat. Micah Nelson) 
5. Anina
6. Madjam Mahilkamen
7. Takount (feat. Noura Mint Seymali)
8.Iklam Dglour (feat. Warren Ellis, Rodolphe Burger)
9. Kel Tinawen (feat. Cass McCombs)
10. Itous Ohar (feat. Cass McCombs)
11. Mhadjar Yassouf Idjan (feat. Warren Ellis)
12. Wartilla (feat. Warren Ellis, Stephen O’Malley)
13. Lalla


Kel Tinawen (feat. Cass McCombs)

Tinariwen (MAL)

From the forthcoming album, ‘Amadjar’, Anti-/Wedge.

Audio Stream