On Wednesday, February 12, 2014
It's a long way from the Mississippi Delta to the Sahara Desert. But somehow the snaking blues lines and hypnotic guitar figures of bluesman like John Lee Hooker resonated with the members of Tinariwen, who set aside traditional Touareg instruments two decades ago to play electric guitar. The follow-up to 2000's spellbinding Radio Tisdas, Amassakoul again features galloping rhythms, desert wails and, of course, electric guitar--up to four guitars snarl, burr and howl to create the spacious interlocking desert blues groove that is this group’s calling card. Eerie call-and-response vocals draw listeners in as well, conjuring up visions of a night around the campfire in the open desert air. This album also reveals that Tinariwen is more flexible than would be originally thought--the blues riffs are more varied and the music is augmented with more complicated arrangements and better production values. Another stunning effort, Amassakoul finds the band honing its art and spreading its wings musically to great effect.
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