Tamikrest are one of the best blues bands to come out of the Sahara.
Tamikrest formed in 2006 and are from Kidal, a remote desert town in the northwest of the Sahara, some 2,000 kilometres north of the capital Bamako. The band members are all Tuareg, a group of people that are spread all over North and some of West Africa. After civil war in the ‘80s, many of the rebel fighters traded their Kalashnikovs and hand grenades for guitars and microphones. When new riots broke out in 2006, Ousmane Ag Mossa and his friend Cheick Ag Tiglia decided not to fight with weapons, but to call attention to the Tuareg’s cause with musical means.
Since then, 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.
Adding variety, politics and attack to Tinariwen’s legacy, Tamikrest give northern Mali’s desert blues a new lease of life.
“It’s good to know there’s a whole new generation of Touareg rockers more or less following Tinarwen’s distinguished tracks through the Saharan sands. – BBC Music
“The musicianship of the band is solemnly uplifting.” musicOMH
“These young rebel dudes manage to make the grinding of Stratocasters feel redolent of light flooding over rock, employing a layered droning derived from traditional vocal polyphony.” The Daily Telegraph