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Tinariwen
AMASSAKOUL
(World Village)

This blues-tinged desert guitar band coalesced in refugee communities and military training camps during the Tuareg peopleís struggle with the Malian government during the í80s and í90s. Part gut-bucket blues, part Ali Farka Touré roots music, and part trance jam band, Tinariwen transcend these influences and manage to preserve authenticity, always evoking the hardship of nomadic life in the vast, unforgiving Sahara. "Amassakoul íní Ténéré" and "Oualahila ar Tesninam" are cranking one-chord vamps with rock-and-roll intensity. "Chert Boghassa" builds around a low-down boogie riff right out of a Chicago blues bar. Elsewhere, we get a subdued vibe and staggered rhythms, as on the chant-and-percussion rich "Amidinin," and the bone-dry ballad "Ténéré Daféd Nikchan." "Eh Massina Sintadoben" conjures religious ecstasy with droning guitars and crying unison chanting. This album is more crisply recorded than the bandís 2001 international debut, and it has more high-energy numbers, but the gritty, relaxed mood remains intact.

(Tinariwen perform this Friday, October 29, at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square; call 876-4275.)

BY BANNING EYRE


Issue Date: October 29 - November 4, 2004
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