Imarhan Tombouctou — Akal Warled
•Δ• Imarhan Timbuktu je rodinná záležitost. Mohamed Issa Ag Umara El Ansari, jeho mladší bratr, Ousmane Ag Oumar El Ansari hraje na kytaru, fascinující, spalující, zajištěna pulzujícím a někdy i hypnotickým tepem basy a ručními bubny sester: Fadimata Walet Umara a Zeinabou Walet. Naléhavé, odpovídající vokály. Pouštní blues do čerstvých souřadnic. Tradiční saharský repertoár kapela vyvinula do svého jedinečného soundu. Výsledkem je hudba, která je okouzlující, přesvědčivá, slavnostní, hypnotická a radostná. Imarhan Timbuktu hudba je také velmi odlišné od tradiční hudby Tuaregů. To je proto, že Imarhan Timbuktu vzali tradiční nástroje Tuaregů a spojily je s elektrickými nástroji. Je to tedy setkání dvou hudebních kultur. Objevte jedno z nejlépe střežených tajemství Mali. Je to unikátní potěšení a průkopnická fúze hudebních žánrů od Malijských hudebních průkopníků.
•Δ• Packed with those easy rhythms, call and response vocals and hypnotic percussion at the heart of Mali’s musical landscape, Akal Warled delivers the goods.
Location: Timbuktu, North Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso
Album release: March 18, 2014
Recorded: Warled, Area 52 Studios, Suagerties, New York
Record Label: Clermont Music
01 Aicha Talamomt 4:36
02 Akal Warled 5:56
03 Amassakoul In Tenere 4:38
04 Ehela Damohele 5:10
05 Taliat Ta Silkhourout 6:43
06 Taliat Malat 6:31
07 Tarha Tazar 5:25
08 Tidawt 6:28
Δ Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar — Lead vocal, lead guitar
Δ Ousmane Ag Oumar — Rhythm guitar, backup vocal
Δ Fadimata Walet Oumar — Tende hand drum, backup vocal
Δ Zeinabou Walet Oumar — Tende hand drum, backup vocal
Δ Alpha Ousmane Sankare “Hama” — Calabash
Δ Baba Traore — Bass
Δ All songs written, composed and arranged by Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari
Δ Author’s Rights Agency: BUMDA
Δ Published: Nolan+Associates Productions LLC / Clermont Music, Commons Rd, Clermont, NY
Publisher’s Rights Agency: BMI
Δ Produced by Christopher Nolan, Clermont Music, Commons Road, Clermont, NY
Δ Recorded, mixed and mastered by Dave Cook, Area 52 Studios, Tower Road, Saugerties, NY, July 2013
Δ Graphic Design by Andrew Nelson, Down in the Valley Designs, Jennifer Lane, Hudson, NY
Δ French liner notes, lyric summaries and translations: Intagrist El Ansari, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Δ English translations: Christopher Nolan, Clermont Music, Commons Road, Clermont NY
© COPYRIGHT 2014: All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use strictly prohibited.
MAIN REVIEW ♦ DEREKSMUSICBLOG ♦ MAY 26, 2014 ♦
Δ Over the last ten years, Imarhan Timbuktu have been providing the soundtrack at dance clubs and private parties in Northern Mali. Imarhan Timbuktu have starred at the famous Festival au Desert. Gradually, word began to spread about Imarhan Timbuktu. Recently, Imarhan Timbuktu’s music has been heard further afield.
Δ This includes in Europe and North America, where recently, Imarhan Timbuktu have been touring. For many people, this is their introduction to Tuareg music. However, still, many people have yet to discover the delights of Imarhan Timbuktu. Now everyone has the opportunity to hear the music of Imarhan Timbuktu. They’ve recently released their debut album Akal Warled, on Clermont Music. It’s been a long time coming, but well worth the wait.
Δ It was back in 1993 that Imarhan Timbuktu was founded by Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari. Imarhan Timbuktu is a family affair. His younger brother, Ousmane Ag Oumar El Ansari plays guitar. His guitar playing is mesmeric. He unleashes blistering, scorching, rhythmic licks. Providing the pulsating and sometimes hypnotic heartbeat are the bass and tinde hand-drums. Playing the tinde hand-drums are sisters Fadimata Walet Oumar and Zeinabou Walet. They’re joined by calabash and urgent, bursts vocals. The result is music that’s captivating, compelling, celebratory, hypnotic and joyous. Imarhan Timbuktu’s music is also very different from traditional Tuareg music.
Δ That’s because Imarhan Timbuktu have taken traditional Tuareg instruments and combined them with electric instruments. It’s a meeting of two musical cultures.
Δ Previously, nobody had dared to do this. Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari did. The result was music that crossed cultural borders. Tuareg desert blues meets Afro-beat, funk, jazz, psychedelia, rock and soul. The result isn’t just music to dance to, but music with a social conscience.
Δ Imarhan Timbuktu aren’t afraid to write songs about about political issues. Not at all. They’ve witnessed events firsthand. They’ve watched helplessly as local issues become global issues. These events decimated their world. So, it’s no surprise that some of Imarhan Timbuktu’s music deals with loss and nostalgia. They’re mourning and nostalgic for a world that sadly, will never return. Other songs are celebratory and joyous. They’re sung with pride and hope by Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari, who founded Imarhan Timbuktu in 1993. Now, twenty-three years later, Imarhan Timbuktu will release their debut album Akal Warled.
Δ Akal Warled features eight tracks. They were written and arranged by Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari. Dave Cook recorded, mixed and mastered Akal Warled at Area 52 Studios, Suagerties, in New York. Producing Akal Warled, was Christopher Nolan. Although Imarhan Timbuktu were a long way from Northern Mali, this was a major event. Imarhan Timbuktu had never recorded an album before. It was a huge opportunity for Imarhan Timbuktu. The release of Akal Warled, which I’ll tell you about, would all Imarhan Timbuktu’s music to be heard by a much wider audience.
Δ Aïcha opens Akal Warled. Ousmane Ag Oumar El Ansari’s blistering, searing guitar is at the heart of the arrangement. It cuts through the arrangement, leaving the tinde hand-drums, pulsating bass and calabash in its wake. Mohamed’s vocal is heartfelt and emotive. Tender harmonies respond to his call. Briefly, urgent bursts of vocals quiver above the arrangement. Meanwhile, scorching licks and handclaps the hypnotic heartbeat provide the backdrop to Mohamed’s impassioned, needy vocal. This proves the perfect introduction to Mali’s best kept secret, Imarhan Timbuktu.
Δ A Strange Country is a song about Malian’s forced to live in exile. Just a wistful guitar joins melancholy harmonies and handclaps. The bass injects a sense of foreboding and the searing, scorching guitar is unleashed.That’s until Mohamed’s vocal enters. There’s a sense of sadness and longing in his voice, as if replicating what the exiles are feeling. Before long, his vocal drops out. It’s as if he’s overwhelmed and can only sing the lyrics in short bursts. Anything else is emotionally overwhelming. Replacing his vocal is Ousmane’s guitar. He plays with passion, power and control. Frustration and anger shine through at the thought of his fellow Malians living in exile. Δ Together, Imarhan Timbuktu highlight the plight of Malian exiles forced to live Burkina Fasso.
Δ Just a scorching guitar sets the scene for Desert Voyager’s Farewell. Soon, the tinde hand-drums, pulsating bass and calabash provide an atmospheric backdrop. Mohamed’s vocal is full of sadness and regret, at leaving the place he calls home. His vocal is replaced by shrieks and squeals. Meanwhile, Ousmane combines Afro-beat, psychedelia and rock. His Hendrix-esque solos are at the heart of the track’s sound and success. So, are tinde hand-drums, bass and calabash. They provide a mesmeric, cascading, hypnotic backdrop Mohamed’s rueful vocal on this deeply moving track.
Δ Chiming, funky guitar licks open For The Women. They’re joined by a hypnotic chant. It’s mesmeric. Meanwhile, waves of a bounding bass, tinde hand-drums and calabash combine. Mohamed’s pays an impassioned tribute to the Malian women. His vocal flits in and out of an arrangement. It’s variously funky, hypnotic and mesmeric. Δ Ousmane’s guitar is at the heart of the arrangement. He surpasses everything that’s gone before. Blistering, searing solos climb above the arrangement. Somehow, he squeezes another note out. It cascades above the arrangement, almost matching the emotion in Mohamed’s heartfelt vocal.
Δ Bursts of chiming guitars, bass and pulsating tinde hand-drums create the mesmeric backdrop on The Girl Who Calms. Mohamed delivers a vocal that’s full of emotion. Harmonies sweep in. They match the emotion in his vocal. Searing guitars add to the gloriously hypnotic backdrop. The rhythm section and guitar are locked into the tightest of swirling grooves. Handclaps and hollers are unleashed. They augment the vocal and harmonies, during a track that’s a celebration of The Girl Who Calms.
Δ The introduction to The Beautiful Girl is much more understated. Just chiming guitars, tinde hand-drums, bass and calabash combine, before the needy, tender vocal enters. Responding to Mohamed’s vocal, are soulful, joyful harmonies. Before long, Ousmane’s spraying a rocky guitar solo across the arrangement. It doesn’t overpower the arrangement. It also carries the melody well. After that the harmonies return, before giving way to the guitar, whoops and hollers. All this results an irresistible and joyous homage to The Beautiful Girl.
Δ Imarhan Timbuktu’s rhythm section join forces with searing guitars on Love Is The Priority. They provide the backdrop for Mohamed’s needy vocal. Tender harmonies reply to his call. They’re yin to Mohamed’s yang. Meanwhile, Ousmane’s unleashing another of his blistering solos. It takes centre-stage, while the rest of Imarhan Timbuktu provide a pounding, pulsating heartbeat. No wonder Imarhan Timbuktu have been providing the soundtrack at dance clubs and private parties in Northern Mali for over ten years. Their truly music is truly irresistible.
Δ Closing Akal Warled is Unity. It’s a poignant track and seems the perfect way to close Imarhan Timbuktu’s debut album. The arrangement is understated and thrustful. Δ Crystalline guitar, tinde hand-drums and calabash combine with Mohamed’s hopeful vocal. Harmonies answer Mohamed’s call, while whoops and hollers punctuate the arrangement. Then the moody bass prowls across the arrangement. Its pessimistic sound is very different the rest of the arrangement. However, the hopeful sound shines through and maybe, one day, Malians will be able to enjoy the Unity Imarhan Timbuktu sing of.
Δ Imarhan Timbuktu’s debut album Akal Warled is long overdue, but has been well worth the wait. It was in 1993 that Imarhan Timbuktu were founded by Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari. Since then, Imarhan Timbuktu have been winning friends and influencing people. At first this was in Northern Mali, where for the last ten years, Imarhan Timbuktu have been providing the soundtrack at dance clubs and private parties. Now Imarhan Timbuktu are heading further afield. They’ve toured Europe and North America. No longer are Imarhan Timbuktu Mali’s best kept secret. Far from it.
Δ So this is the perfect opportunity for Imarhan Timbuktu to release their debut album, Akal Warled. It’s an innovative and unique fusion of traditional Tuareg instruments and electric instruments. The result is a meeting of two musical cultures. This was a first. Nobody had dared to do this. Thankfully, Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari did. The result was music that crossed cultural borders. Tuareg desert blues meets Afro-beat, funk, jazz, psychedelia, rock and soul. The result isn’t just music to dance to, but music with a social conscience.
Δ Over eight tracks, Mohamed’s vocal veers between worldweary, lovelorn, heartfelt and heartbroken. He delivers his vocals with power and passion. His vocal is variously hopeful, to needy to joyous and proud. Meanwhile, the music is hypnotic, irresistible, mesmeric and pulsating. Much of this is down to the unique fusion of traditional and Western instruments. It’s a glorious fusion. Especially with Mohamed’s brother Ousmane evoking the spirit of Hendrix.
Δ Ousmane’s guitar playing is spellbinding and plays a hugely important part in the success of Akal Warled. He’s a showman, whose not afraid to push his guitar to his limits. The result is spellbinding. Tuareg desert blues are combined with Afro-beat, funk, jazz, psychedelia and rock by Ousmane. Two brothers and two sisters play a huge part in the success of Imarhan Timbuktu.
Δ Sisters Fadimata Walet Oumar and Zeinabou Walet play the tinde hand-drums on Akal Warled. They’re crucial to Imarhan Timbuktu’s hypnotic, mesmeric, pounding and pulsating heartbeat. That’s another reason why Akal Warled is such a captivating album.
Δ Indeed from the opening bars of Aïcha, which opens Akal Warled, right through to the closing notes of Unity you’re spellbound. You realise why Imarhan Timbuktu are winning friends and influencing people around the world. From North America to Europe, people have discovered one of Mali’s best kept secrets, Imarhan Timbuktu. Now everyone can discover the delights of Imarhan Timbuktu. They’ve recently released their debut album Akal Warled, on Clermont Music. Akal Warled is a unique and groundbreaking fusion of musical genres from Malian musical pioneers, Imarhan Timbuktu. (http://dereksmusicblog.wordpress.com/)
BY TJ NELSON — MAY 22, 2014
Δ Those looking for a desert blues fix should check out Imarhan Timbuktu’s Akal Warled out now on the Clermont Music label. Founded in 1993 by lead guitarist and vocalist Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar, Imarhan Timbuktu is the real deal, spending much of their music career traveling throughout northern and southern Mali working the dance club and private party scenes.
Δ Joined by Ousmane Ag Oumar on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Fadimata Walet Oumar on tende hand drum and backing vocals, Zeinabou Walet Oumar on tende hand drum and backing vocals, Baba Traore on bass and Alpha Ousamane Sankare dit Hama on calabash, Imaran Timbuktu has become a traveling musical voice for the trouble people of Mali and a featured group at the Festival au Desert. With all the songs of Akal Warled composed and arranged by Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari, this recording captures the continuing will of these musicians and the people of Mali.
Δ Seamlessly blending electric guitar and bass with the traditional hand drums, clapping and ululations familiar to desert blues bands, Imarhan Timbuktu sets up a breezy feel with the revolving rhythms of the opening Aicha Talamomt” surrounded by infectious hand drumming, claps and vocals. That familiar feel good feeling transfers to tracks like title track “Akal Warled,” kick ass guitar licked “Amassakoul In Tenere” and the meaty rhythms of “Ehela Damohele.”
Δ “Taliat Ta Silkhourout” is brimming over with coolness, as does the catchy percussion infused “Taliat Malat” and the closing track “Tidawt” with its shimmering guitar licks that rise like waves of heat off the desert sands.
Δ “Imharhan, ...With a more electric, “modern” sound, ... Very well received by a sell out crowd at La Tulipe. [Montreal]” — Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide
Δ ”Imharhan gives them room to stretch into new music” — Glynis Hart, Ithaca Times
Δ “A band that reflects the often experimental, fascinating Tuareg adaptation of Saharan nomad music to contemporary, fresh sounds." — Brightest Young Things blog
Δ Formed in 1993, Imarhan Timbuktu is a Tuareg guitar group from Mali and spearheaded by Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari. The album contains eight songs about the plight of Tuareg refugees in the camps of Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Algeria, and Niger.