Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tinariwen - Aman Imam: Water is Life

Chris Pacifico reviews Tinariwen's Aman Imam: Water is Life.
Tinariwen's mixture of French and Tamashek in their lyrics makes their eloquence all the more enigmatically exotic. The opener "Cler Achel" sees the chanting like a vintage Bollywood film soundtrack atop supple polyrhythms. "Ahimana" is a sooty campfire hymn-a-long with clip-clopping, psychedelic rhythms and slinky mantras reminiscent of King Sunny Ade that slowly dashes upward and upward, yet is in no way a crescendo. Speaking of old world music in the vinyl vault, the brittle island dub and earthy resonance of "Toumast" and "Imidiwan Winakalin" got me digging through my crates to find my Cymande records.

Aman Iman is probably the most unfettered studio release yet by Tinariwen. Producer Justin Adams, who plays guitarist in Robert Plant's Strange Sensation, goes light on the technological touches to create a full-bodied, simmering listen.
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