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More Info:For Saharan blues band Tinariwen, the desert is home; their hypnotic and electrifying guitar rock reflects the melding of their Tuareg musical heritage with modern urban blues. Their 2011 album Tassili, recorded in the Algerian desert -- in a tent under the stars with an esteemed cadre of musicians including Nels Cline and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone -- won a Grammy Award for Best World Music album. Their 2014 record Emmaar returns to their roots, delivering stripped-down dirges and effervescent electric anthems.
Due to political instability in their country, the band recorded away from their homeland for the first time, setting up shop in another desert: Joshua Tree, California. "This is the first time we are recording out of Africa, but it has to be in a desert, " says bassist Eyadou Ag Leche. "We would like to live in peace in the North of Mali, but this is very difficult, there is no administration, no banks, no food, no gas. Joshua Tree is in the high desert of California, we love all the desert, these are places where we feel good to live and to create."
Recorded over three weeks in studio built in a house in the region known for spaced-out rock n roll and psychedelic cowboy folk, Emmaar showcases an organic feel from the rolling hand drums and meandering guitars of album opener "Toumast Tincha" to the galloping beats of the forward-marching "Chaghaybou." Accompanied by Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, Matt Sweeney from Chavez, Nashville fiddler Fats Kaplin, and poet Saul Williams, Emmaar is a richly layered listen solidified by atmospheric textures and gritty guitar-work.