. issue XI : v .
Tamikrest, from Kidal in northeastern Mali, is one of the most significant bands in the genre world music fans call ‘desert blues’ and the Tamasheq themselves frequently refer to simply as “la guitare.” They play music based on traditional rhythms on electric instruments with an energy and drive that come directly from the blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Chatma (“My Sisters”) is their third album, and it finds them reflecting on the toll that the recent Malian war has taken on their society and reaching out to a broader first world audience. “Tisnant an Chatma” is a slow burner with tension building to a series of guitar solos and duos by Ousmane Ag Mossa and new member Paul Salvagnac (whose slide and dobro playing is a great addition). “Imanin Bas Zihoun” is an uptempo, clap-along, sing-along song that would be a hit single if we lived in a just universe. These two songs are well worth the price of admission and are as good as anything anyone has done in this genre. The rest of the album can’t match the brilliance of the first two tracks – it’s merely excellent. If you’ve ever worried about the future of rock ‘n’ roll, please give this exhilarating band a listen.