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Tinariwen - Elwan - 2017

Elwan is the seventh studio album by the mythical Tinariwen, an emblematic group of the so-called desert blues that has been active for more than three decades and whose bands, such as Terakaft, Tamikrest or Bombino, recognize them as their greatest influence. True to his idiosyncrasy, but also forced by the often bloody agitation prevailing in his Saharan home, the referential band Tuareg acts, composes and records in a changing way, depending on the circumstances, but always marked by the sensation of the lost land. This time they recorded this album in California (curiously in a place of family connotations for the rock fans such as Joshua Tree National Park) and completed it at M’Hamid El Ghizlane, an oasis in southern Morocco. Appropriate dichotomy that reflects the content of the album.

"Elwan" means "elephants" and is a metaphor for describing those beasts that trample on everything around them. It is a vital album with songs of struggle, songs of hope and with that clean and characteristic sound of the Stratocaster guitar, in addition to the deep voices of its two main singers and composers Ibrahim Ag Alhabib and Abdallah Ag Alhoussenyi. The eleven compositions of the album offer their greatest virtue in the contrast between vigorous and relaxing themes: it opens with "Tiwàyyen", a blues with its swell of guitar stitches that ends those accelerations typical of the Gnawa rhythms (which brings memory to the group beginnings); in "Sastanàqqàm" the cyclical and hypnotic guitars seem to sing along with the band's choirs, and the clash with the reality of the band and its surroundings is evident in "Ténéré Tàqqàl", sad and spiritual regret for the sacking of their land. "Imidiwàn n-akàll-in" refers us to the solitude of the desert to, again, return with acoustic guitars and vibrant percussion in the "Assàwt" envelope. The album closes an emotional blues, "Nànnuflày", an abrasive theme about the vastness and emptiness of the desert.

With the notable collaborations, in addition, of influential American musicians such as Kurt Vile, Mark Lanegan and Matt Sweeny, in Elwan the band has managed, once again, to collect in the studio the fascinating trance of their live shows.

Tracks list:
01. Tiwàyyen
02. Sastanàqqàm
03. Nizzagh Ijbal
04. Hayati
05. Ittus
06. Ténéré Tàqqàl
07. Imidiwàn n-àkall-in
08. Talyat
09. Assàwt
10. Arhegh ad annàgh
11. Nànnuflày

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