Words by Nigel Williamson
Tamikrest are fast turning into the most rock-friendly of the Touareg guitar bands. Dedicated to the courage of the women who sustain the Touareg people in arduous circumstances (Chatma translates as ‘sisters’), the third album from the group led by singer and guitarist Ousmane Ag Mossa should find as much favour with avid readers of Mojo as with Songlines subscribers.
Under the influence of new rhythm guitarist Paul Salvagnac and producer Chris Eckman of acclaimed American alt-rockers the Walkabouts, Tamikrest venture boldly into the realm of something we might call ‘Touareg indie,’ adding to the core desert-blues sound a range of psych-guitar effects, garage beats, dub and funk. There’s even a spacey, Pink Floyd-style sonic montage, while Salvagnac’s bluesy solo on ‘Achaka Achail Aynaian Daghchilan’ evokes memories of the mighty Paul Kossoff on Free’s ‘All Right Now’.
It is a highly welcome development, too, for while it would be unfair to say that all of the Touareg bands that have emerged in the wake of Tinariwen sound identical, they have largely ploughed the same sand dune. All credit, then, to Tamikrest – who are a generation younger than the original Touareg war vets – for taking the sound in brave and brilliant new directions.
TRACK TO TRY: ‘Achaka Achail Aynaian Daghchilan’