4

Andy Gill

Though named after their Malian hometown depicted with such grim accuracy on the sleeve, Kidal represents Tamikrest’s most outgoing album so far. Ousmane Ag Mossa’s songs may focus as tightly as ever on the problems faced by the Tuareg, but there’s now a powerful backbeat adding a sturdy rock undercarriage to tracks like “War Tila Eridaran” and “Adoutat Salilagh”. Opener “Mawarniha Tartit” starts the album in traditional manner, creeping like a snake slithering through desert scrubland; but “Wainan Adobat” takes things in a different direction, its cyclical, desert-blues guitar figures driven by urgent jazz-rock drumming which imposes a more propulsive character: Tuareg reflection with Western muscle. Keyboard or bowed-string drones add ambient backdrops to some tracks, but it’s the guitars that matter, their serpentine tendrils entwining around tracks such as “War Toyed”, “Atwitas” and “Ehad Wad Nadorhan”, a shimmering blend of keening background tones, vibrato lead guitar, and oud-like acoustic.

...

Though named after their Malian hometown depicted with such grim accuracy on the sleeve, Kidal represents Tamikrest’s most outgoing album so far. Ousmane Ag Mossa’s songs may focus as tightly as ever on the problems faced by the Tuareg, but there’s now a powerful backbeat adding a sturdy rock undercarriage to tracks like “War Tila Eridaran” and “Adoutat Salilagh”. Opener “Mawarniha Tartit” starts the album in traditional manner, creeping like a snake slithering through desert scrubland; but “Wainan Adobat” takes things in a different direction, its cyclical, desert-blues guitar figures driven by urgent jazz-rock drumming which imposes a more propulsive character: Tuareg reflection with Western muscle. Keyboard or bowed-string drones add ambient backdrops to some tracks, but it’s the guitars that matter, their serpentine tendrils entwining around tracks such as “War Toyed”, “Atwitas” and “Ehad Wad Nadorhan”, a shimmering blend of keening background tones, vibrato lead guitar, and oud-like acoustic.

Share this!