As far as the album goes, things are rather straightforward. There’s a verse from the singer, with the guitar following the vocal line, a chorus of campfire sounding voices, a guitar solo that twines around the basic melody and then it’s back to the mixture as before with not much apart from guitar, the occasional slice of bass, some elementary percussion and the call and response vocal. 

Assuming you’re not familiar with Tinariwen, the album’s opener, Le Chant des Fauves, is a logical place to start. What you hear there is, in essence, what you’re going to get the rest of the way through. The rhythm lopes along, the vocal line comes across as relaxed and the chorus chimes in over the top. Atmospheric is the operative word here, and the langorous atmosphere and around the desert campfire vibe  is maintained through to the final track, recorded live at the first Festival in the Desert in 2001.

What’s on offer won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve been impressed to the point where thi iTunes library now contains all Tinariwen’s stand alone album releases. Recommended, but sample Le Chant des Fauves first.

© Ian Hughes 2012