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Tamanrasset, Tamanghasset, Algeria | INDIE

Tamanrasset, Tamanghasset, Algeria | INDIE
Band World Rock


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Tamikrest @ Kampnagel

Hamburg, None, Germany

Hamburg, None, Germany

Tamikrest @ Afro Festival

Breden, None, Belgium

Breden, None, Belgium

Tamikrest @ Flow Festival

Helsinki, None, Finland

Helsinki, None, Finland


The best kept secret in music


“With this disc, Tamikrest announces the new generation of desert blues warriors.” - The Australian

“Building riffs out of sand, Tamikrest have not waited long to follow up their debut album Adagh, a Quietus favourite of 2010.” - The Quietus

"The most exciting new band on the Tuareg desert blues scene." - R2/ Rock'n'Reel

"I seriously adore this band for their music and their lack of fear in the company of bands such as Tinariwen or legends like Ali Farka Toure: they play brilliantly and the self-belief in their music comes through in number after number. This is a very worthy follow up to ‘Adagh’, they are simply wonderful." - Music-News

"Rock'n'roll at its finest, evoking rich desert landscapes and ancient wisdom passed down through the generations." - The Epoch Times

"Tamikrest are a relentless, unstoppable force." - musicOMH

"Tamikrest's excellent second album stands out ... its delicacy a world away from the guttural grit of electric guitars elsewhere." - Financial Times

"They look and sound like future heroes." - The Observer

"Tinariwen's angry little brothers are on the rise." - Mojo

"An album that thrillingly throws down the gauntlet to their elders." - Uncut


Disc1 : Dirtmusic/Tamikrest – BKO, Glitterhouse records, prod. by Dirtmusic, studio Bogolan, Bamako, 2009

Disc2 : Adagh, Glitterhouse records, produced by Chris Eckman, studio Bogolan, Bamako, 2009

Disc3 : Toumastin Glitterhouse produced by Chris Eckman, studio Bogolan, Bamako, 2010



“As far as I’m concerned, it’s Tinariwen who created the path,” declares Ousmane Ag Mossa, frizzy-locked leader of Tamikrest, in a pre-emptive strike against a thousand inevitable questions. “But the way I see it, if younger bands don’t come through, then Touareg music will eventually die. They created the path and now it’s up to us to walk down it and create the future.”

Ousmane was born twenty-seven years ago in a village called Tin-Zaouaten, a solitary speck squeezed up against Mali’s northeastern border with Algeria. It’s a remote marginal place. Or to put it another way: there’s distant, there’s remote and beyond both of those there’s Tin-Zaouaten.
To an outsider, the village would appear to be nothing more than a motley collection of one storey adobe and breeze-block houses, huddling together for protection against the burning sun, the black rocky hills and the lonely immensity of the surrounding desert. But to Ousmane, it’s home.

Like its ‘neighbour’ Tessalit, two hundred and fifty kilometres to the west, Tin-Zaouaten is blessed with a water table that lurks benignly just below the surface of the gritty soil. Dig a few metres and you can usually find water in abundance. That’s why Tin-Zaouaten, or ‘Tinza’ for short, is famed in the desert for its gardens and garden produce. Ousmane’s father Mossa was born a nomad out in the bush, but by the time Ousmane arrived he had settled in Tinza, making a living from growing onions, beetroot, carrots and dates, and selling them in the local markets.

In 1985 drought shook desert life to its core. The rains had failed for several seasons and the village was haunted by famine. “I was born in a time of calamity,” says Ousmane. “In the middle of dreadful events for the Touareg people. My parents knew so much hardship. Then when I was five years old the rebellion broke out. It was 1990, the year of war. I was a child, and I used to hide in amongst the rocks with the other women and children, just a few kilometres north of the village over the Algerian border. When I think of that time, it’s as if it’s all still happening in front of me.”
Thus Ousmane’s childhood was buffeted by the searing winds of recent Touareg history. The droughts of ‘68 to ’74 almost destroyed the animal herds and with them the ancient nomadic way of life of the Touareg. The drought of ’84 to ’85 almost dealt the final blow. Thousands of young men fled into exile in Algeria, Libya, Burkina Faso and beyond. That’s where the modern Touareg guitar style of music was born and then nourished by anger, homesickness, frustration and dreams of a better life. It was this generation of Touareg men, known as the ishumar, who returned to Mali and Niger in 1990 to rebel against the callousness, corruption and arrogance of the governments in the distant capitals of Bamako and Niamey.

At first Ousmane just listened to traditional Touareg music at home, and the newer guitar music on battered old cassettes. “I well remember hearing my first Tinariwen songs. I was about five. After the death of my mother, my father was obliged to take me to live with my grown-up sister. One morning I was sitting in front of the house and this guy walked by singing a song by Inteyeden called ‘Imidiwan Kel Hoggar’ (‘My Friends the Hoggar People’). It went straight into my brain…ha ha ha.”

A few years later Ousmane began to play the guitar himself, and write songs. He was attending a school in Tinza called Les Enfants de l’Adrar, set up by a French NGO and a local man turned community leader called Hama Ag Sid Ahmed. At the end of every school year the children would create and perform musical plays about pressing themes like ignorance, drought, education and culture.
Hama bought the school an acoustic guitar, and Ousmane adopted the instrument. With his constant friend Cheikh Ag Tiglia, he would write songs and perform them at the school shows. He learned the Tamashek guitar style by listening to a particular cassette which Tinariwen’s leader Ibrahim ‘Abaraybone’ had recorded in Algeria back in 1998.
In 2002, events once again undermined the tenuous calm and stability in Tinza. The village was home to one of the southern desert’s most infamous freedom fighters and warlords, Ibrahim Ag Bahanga. For this reason it became a military no-go zone. Ousmane’s father left to live with his eldest sons in Libya, and both Ousmane and Cheikh went south to Kidal

Kidal is the capital of the far north east of Mali, a region known as the Adagh des Iforas (‘The Mountains of the clan Iforas’). With its wide sandy streets and dispersed one storey earthen houses, Kidal has the feel of a frontier town. For the Adagh Touareg, it’s where it all happens.
Ousmane and Cheikh played the guitar and sang in hidden corners of Kidal, around a fire, drinking bittersweet Touareg tea with their friends. Their reputations grew very slowly, steadily, without wild leaps or fanfares. After a while they heard that a local cul