GR 703LP GR 703LP

LP version. 180-gram vinyl. 2010 release. The debut album by Tuareg band Tamikrest. "As far as I'm concerned, it's Tinariwen who created the path," declares Ousmane Ag Mossa, frizzy-locked leader of Tamikrest, in a pre-emptive strike against a thousand inevitable questions. "But the way I see it, if younger bands don't come through, then Touareg music will eventually die. They created the path and now it's up to us to walk down it and create the future." Mossa was born in a village called Tinzaouaten, a solitary speck squeezed up against Mali's northeastern border with Algeria. With his constant friend Cheikh Ag Tiglia, Mossa would write songs and perform them at the school shows. He learned the Tamashek guitar style by listening to a particular cassette that Tinariwen's leader, Ibrahim aka Abaraybone, had recorded in Algeria in 1998. In 2002, events once again undermined the tenuous calm and stability in Tinza. The village was home to one of the southern desert's most infamous freedom fighters and warlords, Ibrahim ag Bahanga. For this reason it became a military no-go zone. Mossa's father left to live with his eldest sons in Libya, and both Mossa and Tiglia went south to Kidal, where they would form Tamikrest and develop their style and their fan base among Kidal's younger generation. They knew the Tamashek guitar style intimately, but they were also deeply into rap, metal, Maghrebi pop, and Afro-disco music from Côte d'Ivoire. In late 2007, Tamikrest member Pino contacted Manny Ansar, the director of the now-world-famous Festival in the Desert, and clinched a gig for Tamikrest. The band found the money to transport themselves the 600 miles eastward to Timbuktu. In the silky dunes of Essakane they met Dirtmusic, a group of rock 'n' roll veterans from the USA and Australia. It was one of those meetings fashioned by fate in the workshops of destiny. Chris Eckman of Dirtmusic remembers the meeting thus: "On our first morning in Essakane we woke up hearing music, so we went across the sand to the tent opposite ours and that's where Tamikrest was playing. Chris Brokaw grabbed his dobro and headed over, then Hugo and I eventually did the same and basically for three days we didn't leave." The friendship formed at Essakane grew in the following months and lead to an invitation by Dirtmusic to come to the Malian capital Bamako to make an album, and contribute to Dirtmusic's own oeuvre. After another epic journey of 1,200 miles, by car and bus, Mossa, Mohammedine, and crew entered their first professional studio and Adagh was born.