Wednesday, September 18, 2013

CD Review: Tamikrest's 'Chatma'


Upon first examination of the cover art, one may be reminded of the iconic 1985 National Geographic photo of Sharbat Gula - a young Afghan girl, named Sharbat Gula, known for her mesmerizing facial shot. In this case, the plight of North African refugees are highlighted with an emphasis on familial affiliations. North African blues guitar rock may have been popularized by Tinariwen, but Tamikrest also fills the big guitar shoes with Chatma. The ten-track release contains bluesy, guitar riffs, licks, and slides with booming bass, Tamasheq vocals, and some percussion. The affect is a contemporary release without a complete dismissal of North African music traditions. All of the tunes are rather upbeat; except for "Achaka Achail Aynaian daghchilan," "Adounia tabarat," and "Timtar." Some of the songs have characteristic, female ululations in the background, which are quite intoxicating. The guitar sounds are fluid, organic, and slightly rustic, which are very fitting overall. The beats are catchy and memorable. This is not a polished dance album or a pop production, but fans of Tidawt, Tinariwen, Terakaft, Toumast, and others, will find some great stuff here. Essentially, anyone with a passion for North African guitar music will love Tamikrest. Buy it today! ~ Matthew Forss

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