Tinariwen: Aman Iman - Water is Life in February
The new Album from Tinariwen ‘Aman Iman - Water Is Life’ is released through Independiete on February 5th 2007
Since Tinariwen emerged from their homeland in the southern Sahara desert back in 2001, they have achieved the kind of success that only a few African acts have equalled. They have sold over 80,000 copies of their two albums, ‘The Radio Tisdas Sessions’ and ‘Amassakoul’. They have toured the globe, playing at many prestigious festivals and sharing stages with Robert Plant, Carlos Santana, Taj Mahal and others. They have won awards and citations, including a prestigious BBC Radio 3 World Music Award. They have taken desert culture and the Tamashek guitar to the four corners of the globe.
The press release follows...
‘Aman Iman - Water Is Life’
Released February 5th 2007
Since Tinariwen emerged from their homeland in the southern Sahara desert back in 2001, they have achieved the kind of success that only a few African acts have equalled. They have sold over 80,000 copies of their two albums, ‘The Radio Tisdas Sessions’ and ‘Amassakoul’. They have toured the globe, playing at many prestigious festivals and sharing stages with Robert Plant, Carlos Santana, Taj Mahal and others. They have won awards and citations, including a prestigious BBC Radio 3 World Music Award. They have taken desert culture and the Tamashek guitar to the four corners of the globe. Now comes their third CD ‘Aman Iman’.
‘Aman Iman’...Water is life
“Aman iman” is one of the best-known and best-loved Touareg sayings. Strictly speaking, it means “water is the soul” in Tamashek, the language of the Touareg, but it’s also widely translated as meaning “water is life”. It is often followed by the rejoinder “ach isoudar” which means “and milk is survival.” The saying underlines the fundamental importance of water to all life, and all prosperity, an importance which those living in water-rich lands tend to forget. But it also refers to water as a symbol of the soul, of inspiration, of all which defines the heart of man.
The Making of ‘Aman Iman’
In February of this year, Tinariwen set off in a convoy of two Toyota Landcruisers to travel the 1,600 kilometres from their home in Kidal to the capital of Mali, Bamako. There they were joined by producer Justin Adams, engineer Ben Findlay and manager Andy Morgan. The group had already been busy rehearsing in a makeshift studio in Kidal, under the direction of Javier ‘Jaja’ Maillet, their live sound engineer and all-round ‘trainer’.
In Bamako they went into the legendary Bogolan Studios and recorded over 23 tracks in about 10 days. The work-rate was as blistering as the midday heat, and the inspiration as intense as the bustle of downtown Bamako. The main singer / songwriters in the group Ibrahim ‘Abaraybone’ Hassan, ‘Le Lion du Desert’ and Abdallah ‘Catastrophe’ all made their contribution. The added presence of Mohammed ‘Japonais’, one of the Southern Sahara’s most renowned poets and guitarists, who had not worked with Tinariwen since 2002 was especially exciting.
Justin and the group wanted to keep the sound live, raw and direct, faithful to its desert roots, but ‘epic’ and rich enough to seduce all-comers. After an unforgettable couple of weeks, Justin, Ben and Andy returned to the UK with the raw recordings. Justin and Ben mixed the album with help from Eyadou Ag Leche, Tinariwen’s bassist and Tim Oliver. Despite other commitments with Robert Plant’s Strange Sensation, Justin managed to finish the album in June 2006.
Tinariwen – What the Papers Say…
“…I still maintain that they are not only the best world music but the best rock and roll band in the world, full stop.”
David Honnigman – Financial Times
“Tinariwen capture the poetry and hardships of nomadic life and exile in hypnotic, modal vocals and a tangle of sidewinding riffs that sound like a mirage come true: Keith Richards, Ry Cooder and Ali Farka Toure picking side by side under an unforgiving sun.” David Fricke – Rolling Stone
“Nurtured in exile, raised in conflict, and driven underground, where they achieved legendary status, Tinariwen are the kind of band that generations of western rebel rockers could only dream of being.”
Tim Cummings - The Guardian
“Tinariwen’s music seems inseparable from its origins. With the drones and circular patterns, songs can extend like sweeping desert landscapes. Like a nomad traveling those sands, Tinariwen’s music carries only essentials and needs nothing more.”
Jon Pareles – The New York Times
“Something like the bastard Saharan child of Bo Diddley and Husker Dü.”
Nigel Tassell – HMV Choice
“Awesome! So bloody effortless and simple.” Andy Kershaw
“Tender and enveloping, like a blues, stripped to the bone and essential.” Vibrations
“…the music is distinctly rock, masterful, inspired, different and as authentic as it’s possible to imagine. This is where the blues came from.”
Shane Nichols - Financial Review
“To listen to Tinariwen is to believe once more in rock and its power…its dangerous music in the very best sense. Western bands might have forgotten how to rock as if their lives depended on it; Tinariwen can teach them” iTunes Europe
“To share this stage with Tinariwen is a real joy because when I hear them I hear the beginning of the music of the Mississippi and of Muddy Waters, Jeff Beck, BB King, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy...this is where it all comes from, they are the originators”
“Listening to Tinariwen is like dropping a bucket into a deep well.”