It’s album number 4 for Malian seven piece Tinariwen (Shock), and on Imidiwan Companion we’re seeing a refinement of their unique and beautiful sound. Such is this incredible Toureg ensemble’s popularity that they’ve played with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Tuung in the last few years, even landing in Melbourne earlier this year, seducing audiences with their hypnotic webs of guitar, hand drums and evocative call and response vocals. If you want desert rock, if you want to know where the blues came from, it’s all right here. It feels incredibly immediate, once the repetative riffing begins all you can see are sweeping vistas of sand. Whilst the earthy groove underlies all their tunes, ocassionally here they strip it right back to bass and percussion, amping up the funk, playing a little more with dynamics. They also do this gentle stripped back fireside groove, that when the group vocals comes in the hair stands up on the back of your neck. There seems to be a little more spoken word here than previously, kind’ve gruff and throaty, but really if you’re a fan of any of their previous releases you’re not going to be disappointed here, they have created a sound so incredibly unique and beautiful, each successive album is just about refinement as they continue to grow in confidence.
Bob Baker Fish