Filed under: 2007 Top 20
Here’s one I don’t really have any kind of context for. I have no idea whether Tinariwen are in a great tradition of African guitar music, completely apart from it, are a new paradigm or sound a great deal like somebody else.
All I know is that through the pretty widespread coverage they got (everywhere from Robert Plant interviews to Later.. to the music press), Tinariwen filtered through in a way most African music fails to (I have the odd album by more trad African artists, and some bits and pieces of Fela Kuti; and that, I’m afraid, is that). I got the breakthrough album Aman Iman (Water Is Life) and quite liked it, although probably didn’t give it the time it deserved. But it was when I saw them on a shitty Sunday at this year’s largely shitty Glastonbury – and only the last couple of tunes, at that, since the mud made everything take longer than you expected to get to – it all clicked into place. The album unfolded for me after that, and it’s been a constant companion for the last 6 months. Just stunning. I’m hoping next time I see them the sun is out and I don’t smell quite so bad.
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