Tinariwen, 'Tassili' (Anti-)

Critical Mass
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Label: Anti-

by Richard Gehr

The rock stars of northern Mali's Tuareg tribe set their electric guitars aside ?and send the female ?singers home for their most emotionally involved set yet. Recorded in an Algerian desert tent, ?Tinariwen's fifth album takes off on an acoustic path following the open-?ing track's otherworldy ?appearance by Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and ?TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone merely drop in on the slow-grooving, call-and-response perfection of such minimalist concoctions as "Asuf D Alwa" and the Qawwali-evoking "Imidiwan Win Sahara."

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