"…Live performances focus on a mix of two rhythm guitars (one to keep the beat, balanced with another that is soaring and sweet), while the deep tones of the bass hope to bring to mind the delicate but strong steps of a camel making its way through the wastelands.
The heavy, pulsating heartbeat of the percussion holds the songs together and completes the sound of Terakaft.
"We make music to send the message for our people," the band says. "It’s our battle, it’s our fight for our freedom."
Terakaft’s music is featured in the Al Jazeera filmOrphans of the Sahara. For more on the band, vist their official website: terakaft.bandpage.com ”
Terakaft - Imgharen Win Ibda (“The Time of Our Elders”) (by Scott Lynch)
Live from the Walnut Room in Denver.
Zook Beat caught up with Terakaft during their recent US tour. This marked the second US tour for the band. A quartet of players - here to share the rebellious rock of the desert.
In this particular tour, due to visa issues the band consisted of two original members plus two recruits in NY.. though on stage, one felt that the group was as tight as in previous configurations.
The energy is high on stage yet trance like. Terakaft’s sound is primarily guitar-driven in the style known as assouf among the Tuareg people. Like another famous Desert Rockers Tinariwen, Terakaft chant and express in their music the nostalgic feel of the desert. It is the constant search for the unknown, the horizons of the desert, water, love, shelter, and community. The Temalshek people are nomadic; the recent political and religious situation in Northern Mali where Terakaft is from has affected the group’s life. The leader of the group Diara (once a member of Tinariwen) lives over the border in Algeria. When I spoke with him he expressed concern and bewilderment over the current state of affairs in Mali. Though he wants the nomadic lifestyle of Tuaregs to be protected, he hopes that Mali will be united again as one nation…”
Terakaft interviewed by Dung Mummy Radio 6 November 2013 (by urckrecords)
Kill Radio interview from the Bootleg Theater last week.
"There are few places in the world where Touaregs-Malian Bedouin nomads can feel at home, but the Arizona desert is one of them. "This caravan started in the desert of Mali, but we ended up in the United States," bandleader Liya Ag Ablil told the small but enthusiastic Rhythm Room crowd. "We feel like we are home in Arizona."
Dressed in traditional Bedouin robes, Terakaft — which means “Caravan” in Tamashek — then launched into one of the many deeply moving, driving and intense polyrhythmic numbers of the evening. The audience was up for it, filling the dance floor and moving with the hypnotic rhythms of the music…
To call it desert blues would be too easy a simplification — and somewhat ironic, given that the banjo and guitar hail from Mali and the blues existed here long before U.S. musicians adopted the form — simply because there is so much going on in each song. The key, and highlight this evening, was the overlapping guitar melodies, already sounding slightly off-kilter for the high, almost “nasally” tones. Bluesy, yes, but certainly not downtrodden.
…one nice thing about West African music is its ability to branch out in any direction. Such was the case on many songs this evening; like jazz artists, the explorations never detracted from the core song, nor did the musicians get lost along the way. These were great moments, but in reality, there were many as the musical pulse never wavered…
Last Night: Malian Touareg nomads Terakaft.
Personal bias: A longtime fan of West African music.
The crowd: Most up for dancing no matter the age.
Random notebook dump: Derek Trucks, who also plays without a pick, could also learn a few things from this bunch.
Overheard: By a woman who danced almost all night: “Oo-wwwee!” This makes me wanna dance.”
Terakaft’s Bootleg Theater reviewed on Hits Magazine!
Terakaft featured in Tempo: Arts & Entertainment from The Taos News for Ktaos Solar Center concert on Saturday:
“Henderson said they expect Terakaft’s performance to be ‘a little more rocking’ than Tinariwen, and says that the band ‘tends to jam a little bit more like Bombino’, stretching out, rather than clipping off, their songs.”