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Kidal, Kidal Region, Mali | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE

Kidal, Kidal Region, Mali | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2006
Band World Rock





"A riveting and beautiful record ... [that] sounds like a band coming into their own and developing their sonic repertoire." fRoots - fRoots


"A huge leap forward ... With trance-inducing drones, Nashville-evoking steel guitars and space-rock solos, this is the desert-blues album for fans of Can and Pink Floyd to sink their teeth into." **** Mojo - Mojo

"Financial Times"

"Amid the usual off-kilter desert rhythms, there are innovations ranging from practically-ambient interludes to acoustic ballads." **** Financial Times - Financial Times

"Time Out London"

"War, destruction and political strife have blighted the homeland of Saharan rockers Tamikrest for decades. It’s a struggle that has left the group living in exile in Algeria, but has also fuelled their musical fire, investing their fusion of Hendrixian distorted blues rock and traditional Saharan music with a rare passion and aggression ... It’s an album about something other than girls and depression, it’s about struggle, pain and the power of music: something we could all do with being reminded of every once in a while." **** Time Out London (Album of the Week) - Time Out London

"The Independent on Sunday"

"Female vocalist Wonou Walet Sidati (once of Tinariwen) joins them on several numbers. The best of these is “Itous”, because it breaks away from the rolling lope so familiar to fans of Tuareg music, favouring instead a rock steady beat." **** The Independent on Sunday - The Independent on Sunday


"Tamikrest venture boldly into the realm of something we might call 'Touareg indie', adding to the core desert-blues sound a range of psych-guitar effects, garage beats, dub and funk .... All credit to Tamikrest for taking the sound in brave and brilliant new directions." ***** Songlines (Top of the World Album) - Songlines


"It's a typical cyclical riff and chant but, unlike other Tuareg bands, driven by full drums. Elsewhere, the quieter "Achaka Achail Aynaian Daghchilan" come completes with subtle blues flourishes." 8/10 Uncut - Uncut

"The Guardian"

"It isn't easy following in the steps of Tinariwen, but Tamikrest are the brightest young contenders among the new Tamashek-speaking desert blues bands mixing traditional styles with elements of indie rock ... The music is anything but bleak, driven on by sturdy bass, insistent percussion, and gently driving and inventive guitar work from lead singer Ousmane Ag Mossa, who also duets with the band's fine female singer Wonou Walet Sidati ... It's a refreshingly varied set, from the slinky and optimistic "Tomorrow, Another Day" to the atmospheric mix of wailing guitar and voices on the gently drifting "The Journey", influenced by Pink Floyd." **** The Guardian - The Guardian


Glitterbeat Records produced by Chris Eckman, Sono Studios, Ljubljana, 2013

Glitterhouse Records produced by Chris Eckman, studio Bogolan, Bamako, 2010

Glitterhouse Records records, produced by Chris Eckman, studio Bogolan, Bamako, 2009

Glitterhouse Records, produced by Dirtmusic, studio Bogolan, Bamako, 2009



Tamikrest is one of the best blues bands to come out of the Sahara. Ever since the release of their first album, Adagh, in 2009, they have been regarded as the spearhead of the new Tuareg generation; these legitimate heirs of Tinariwen have long been opening up new paths between desert blues and Western rock.

This third album reminds us of that, with, in turn, strong beats in Djanegh Etoumast, then melodies sublimated by djembes and calabashes (Adounia Tabarat). And there are sandstorms traversed by burning-hot guitars (Itous), then intimate laments, resounding in the freezing-cold nights of the desert (Timtar).

In the studio, the German Chris Eckman of the Glitterbeat label, who has been the groups accomplice since they began recording, channels their spirit in the excellent Tisnant an Chatma, before reproducing a sort of desert dub on the slow, heavenly Assikal.

Who could affirm, after listening to these ten intense pieces, that Tuareg blues is not now being excitingly renewed? Tamikrest has been honing its unique and singular style since 2006, and Chatma is the ultimate outcome.

This album wil be taking them on a tour of European capitals this year (they will be in Paris at La Maroquinerie on 15 October).

But recognition, even as far as the West, is not an end in itself for the group. Their leader Ousmane Ag Mossa reminds us that the real issue goes far beyond any notion of artistic achievement:

Even if our music gives me a better life and a little comfort, so long as my people are marginalised and persecuted, it has no value. [...] Over the years, nothing really gets any better in Kidal. Come and see how we live; this isnt Bamako, its another world. Nobody invests in the development of this town; ninety per cent of young people are unemployed.

Those were Ousmanes words in an interview back in 2011. A few months later, Kidal became one of the strategic strongholds of radical Islamists. The peace-loving young Tuaregs of Tamikrest (the name of the group means gathering) regret this all the more, since their songs have always expressed the sufferings of their people and their struggle for recognition of their identity.

Regarding the recent war that has ravaged northern Mali, Ousmane never mentions victory or defeat, but only the terrible wrench it represents for his community. Absence, betrayal, pain, revolt, hope ... Tamikrest transform all these struggles into music, set to poetic texts.

The group always sing, above all, for their own people, even though their audience is now international. Their previous album in 2011 was entitled Toumastin (My People, in Tamasheq) ; this one is Chatma (My Sisters).

It is dedicated to all the women who suffer in silence, far away from the eye of the television camera, wounded in their very flesh by the conflict. The refrain of Tisnant an Chatma is clear:

Who can understand the suffering in the soul of one who sees his sisters exhausted by the constraint of living within borders, in deep pain and with daily oppression?

Anyone who is observant will have noticed that the singer Wonou Walet Sidati, who has been a member of Tamikrest since the beginning, has never been relegated to the side lines during their concerts. She always sings and dances in the middle of the group, often in the front line, front of stage.


Band Members