“Terakaft, one of the rising stars in Tuareg music will bring their desert blues sound to Electrowerkz in London on May 29,2013.
Comprised of two original members of Tinariwen, the band was formed in 2001 in Kidal (Mali). This Tuareg desert rock band uses droning guitars, pulsating rhythms, and powerful, mournful vocals. Terakaft means ‘Caravan’ in their mother tongue and they tell tales of a nomadic people, of families displaced, of violence, loss, sadness and defiance…”
“the good-size audience [danced] throughout the 80-minute show. A cool side note: When the drummer switched to the calabash, he used Bic lighters as percussive tools…Ballads, many with call-and-response vocals and indigenous rhythms, tempered the show and created a nice mixing of styles and ideas.” - Phoenix New Times review of Tinariwen at the Crescent Ballroom.
“He said when he got them four years ago ‘they were with a different agent who knew about us,’ Henderson said. ‘Now they’re with a very large agency that didn’t know anything about Taos. We told them we had (Tinariwen) here before. We couldn’t offer anything near what they wanted.’
Much to his surprise, Henderson received a call a few days later from Tinariwen’s agent, who told him, ‘I don’t know who you are, but they want to come back.’
‘I think they feel a connection here,’ said Henderson. ‘They didn’t realize a place like this existed in America.’”
“The backstory of Tinariwen founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is so cinematic in scope that it should be the basis for an epic independent film. The Mali native was only 4 when he watched as soldiers executed his father, a Tuareg rebel, during an uprising in the early ’60s.
Later in childhood, Ag Alhabib saw a Western film where a cowboy played a guitar; he was so intrigued he fashioned his own instrument out of a tin can, a stick and a piece of bicycle brake cable.
By the late ’70s, Ag Alhabib had learned many Tuareg Folk melodies and modern Arabic Pop songs during his time in Libyan and Algerian refugee camps, and had obtained an actual acoustic guitar from a local Arab man. He joined forces with other musicians in the Tuareg rebel community to form a band in order to play parties and weddings, which locals dubbed Kel Tinariwen, loosely translated as ‘The People of the Desert…’
“…In the vanguard of this “desert blues” brigade is the band Terakaft, which will appear Monday at the Cedar Cultural Center. A core trio composed of friends and a former member of the better-known group Tinariwen, Terakaft — which means “caravan” is the Tamasheq language — deploys driving blues-rock riffs that fans of John Lee Hooker and Ali Farka Touré will recognize. But these phrases coalesce into ululating and circular rhythms that swirl into gusting, hypnotic patterns.
Terakaft, like Tinariwen, are nomadic Tuareg people from the region around northern Mali in the Sahara, so it is hard not to liken this evocative music to the ever-shifting sands and landscape of the desert…
The title track to the group’s fourth and latest album, “Kel Tamasheq” (which translates as “people who speak Tamasheq”), opens with a call for their people to stand up and not be invisible to the world. The lyrics over the braided guitars in “Imad Halan” (“The Volunteers”) seem to caution against involvement in the turmoil in Mali, while the closing acoustic blues tune “Bas Tela Takaraket” (“There Are No More Morals”) proclaims, according to one translation, “We will not submit / Nor will we make alliance with the enemy.”
As with all great blues-oriented music, you don’t have to know the language to feel the passion. On the opening track, “Tirera,” a halting guitar line quickly gathers steam and settles into an intoxicating canter, goaded by hand claps and vocal whoops. It’s a classic desert blues tune, reveling in the unbridled joy of the expanse, satisfying a yearning for freedom and independence that is as old as the hills.”
World Village has forged itself a reputation for excellence on the international musical scene in just a few short years. Seeking out talents from all around the world, carefully designed covers and booklets: these are the key values of the label, which is run by four producers working between France, the USA, Spain and the UK, who pursue an ambitious signing policy.
Jazz Village, the newest label in the Harmonia Mundi family, allows audiences to experience the best of current jazz music, from Europe to the Americas, from traditional to modern, through urban soul and new sound crossbreeds. On the menu: a dozen yearly releases featuring musical veterans, young idols and bright emerging talents.