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Tamikrest - Tamotait - 2020


Tamotaït, their most powerful album since 2013's acclaimed Chatma, finds the band not only turning up the volume but also sharpening their meditative atmosphere and reflections on the state of the Sahara and the world beyond. It features the acclaimed Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra and a cut song featuring traditional Japanese musicians.

Sometimes the music is more than the notes played or the words sung. Sometimes it is a spirit that ignites and burns with a dangerous and dazzling flame. On Tamotaït, Tamikrest's fifth studio album, the music is bright and long. With the political situation so volatile and desperate in the Saharan ancestral lands where Tamikrest comes from, this is more than an album. This is resistance.

But there is also the dream of the future. "The definition of the album is there in its title," explains singer, guitarist and songwriter Ousmane Ag Mossa. 'Tamotaït means hope for a positive change'.

Change as an end to the fighting that has plagued northern Mali and the wider region for the past few years; changes such as the opportunity to thrive within their own homeland, Azawad, a proto-nation that nomadic Tuareg (or Kel Tamasheq, as they prefer to be called) briefly possessed in 2012. It is music fashioned from thoughts, dreams, inspiration and more. everything, collective experimentation.

“We are a band and when we play together everyone contributes their way of playing. For compositions, some pieces start from a riff, another part from a melody or rhythm, and each musician adds his input afterward. The idea was to keep a common thread that comes from Tamasheq music and take it through different worlds, whether they come from our influences or from our encounters during our travels. '

Tamotaït is the most expansive and adventurous album Tamikrest has made, exploring every corner of their sound. There is even music that they made far from the Sahara, in Japan. On tour there, Ag Mossa had been very impressed by the sound of his traditional instruments.

“I decided to return to learn more about the culture and the music. During my visit, I composed some songs on one of the remote islands of Japan. And since the composition of this album started in the desert and ended in the islands of Japan, we think it was a good idea to reflect this on the album as well. '

Most of Tamotaït, however, was recorded in rural France, working with producer David Odlum (Glen Hansard, Gemma Hayes, Tinariwen), leaving his mixing role at the band's 2016 release, Kidal.

'We wanted to make a modern album but with vintage sounds, and we fell in love with his studio, Black Box, when we visited him a few years ago,' explains Ag Mossa. “We wanted to work as much as possible on the sounds beforehand and not leave everything to mixing. So we spent time with him, finalizing the arrangements before we started recording, and he also helped us a lot in choosing amps and microphones. "

The Odlum effect is especially evident in 'Anha Achal Wad Namda'. Just hear that moment when Ag Mohamedine's uptight rhythm section, Cheikh Ag Tiglia (bass) and Nicolas Grupp (drums) spring into action and the track soars into the stratosphere with a full-throated roar. It's the pure and perfect bliss of rock, a reminder of how music can speak with such a commanding voice, and why a decade after its acclaimed career, Tamikrest has become one of the best rock and roll bands in the world. . 

1. Awnafin

2. Azawad

3. Amzagh

4. Amidinin Tad Adouniya

5. As Sastnan Hidjan

6. Timtarin feat. Hindi Zahra

7. Tihoussay

8. Anha Achal Wad Namda

9. Tabsit

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