There's so much great music coming out of Mali these days, but it's the nomadic Saharan collective Tinariwen who conjure the most inexorably compelling spells.
The music of these Tuareg warriors (several of them fought as rebel soldiers) came to wide attention with their 2009 album Imidiwan: Companions and an accompanying documentary with the same title, which explained how the members shifted from making war to making music.
Their new album, Tassili, is just as engrossing, as soulful chanting blends with the group's trademark weave of guitars. The acoustic guitars on "Ya Messinagh" may seem as earthy and fundamental as traditional blues licks, but the riffs start to twist and spin and undulate exotically on the soul-music mélange "Tenere Taqqim Tossam," sounding like nothing you've ever heard before.
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