Tamikrest – Chatma (Glitterbeat Records)
Tuareg rockers, Tamikrest, release their third album as a homage to womankind. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates give his thoughts.
The Tuareg are nomads from the Sahara regions of Niger, Libya, Algeria and Mali, and, their wandering lifestyle has clearly given great influence to the mixed style of Tamikrest. As with many artists from the area, their homelands are in states of complete and utter disarray and disaster, which gives way for their music to come forward. They have slowly grown their reputation throughout Europe, this year in the UK they performed alongside Bassekou Kouyate and Sidi Toure. Aptly, ‘Tamikrest’ means ‘crossing’.
On this, their third album, they concentrate on one theme – ‘Chatma’ or ‘sisters’ – and dedicate the collection to the courage of the Tuareg women in these oppressive times. Produced by Chris Eckman of Dirtmusic, who themselves have this year released one of the finest albums you will ever hear, Tamikrest bring you an album of quite superb quality with songs and melodies that are set to etch themselves into your mind.
Album opener, ‘Tisnant an Chatma’, features the vocals of Ousmane Ag Mossa and the amazing vocals of Wonou Walet Sidati, whose powerful haunting voice gives her an essential part to play and whose addition makes an already rising album fly high above anything else that is currently out there.
The style of Tamikrest is intriguing, with clear African styles fused with those of Hendrix and maybe even Marley, and unsurprisingly, Dirtmusic. The rock guitar is certainly a feature and, mixed with more traditional sounds and melodies, makes for some great listening. There’s a definite stab at reggae on ‘Itous’ which works quite successfully, and, ‘Djanegh Etoumast, clearly the album highlight, is a triumph which features Mossa together with a chorus of voices echoing the words of the lead. The pace is frenetic and the musicianship superb.
There’s also the slightly strange with ‘Assikal’ which seems to be two tracks in one, part Pink Floyd sounding, it features spoken word which maybe loses some of its appeal with the English speaking fraternity, but, does hold a certain atmospheric quality which keeps it engaging. The almost ambient ‘Timtar’ closes an album of rock, blues, reggae and psychedelic influenced tracks of great quality. One for your Amazon Wishlist.
Published on Louder Than War - here