Terakaft brings a stripped-down tuareg sound - Chicago Tribune

“…"The first thing for me with the electric guitar, and it’s probably true for the Tuareg people, is the power of the sound,” Ahmed said. “I understood at once how far the sound of a guitar could go throughout the desert.”

Ablil and Ahmed realized how that sound could transform customary Tuareg instrumental roles.

“This style of guitar is called ‘assouf,’ and it means nostalgia,” Ablil said. “It’s a mix of modern new discoveries with the guitar and more ancient ways of playing the instrument. The ancient music is called 'tinde.’ It’s traditionally played by women and it’s played with percussion. We’ve taken that rhythmic information and brought it out on guitar.”

Ahmed adds that Terakaft adapt other older Tuareg instruments and musical ideas they’ve heard during their journeys across North Africa.

“We’ve brought the imzad (a kind of Tuareg violin) to our modern music,” Ahmed said. “Some of our musical phrases sometimes have a more Arabic or Andalusian origin than Tuareg. We have been traveling throughout Algeria and Libya, so their music has an influence on what we play…”

When: 8 p.m., Saturday

Where: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln Ave.

Tickets: $20-$22; 773-728-6000 or oldtownschool.org"


Tuareg of Libya - Song by Terakaft Tuareg Band 

A Slide show of Tuaregs of Libya, All Photos taken in Ghadamis City by Bashar Shglila (BenTaher). مهرجان الطوارق في غدامس تينيري


Fresh from SXSW, a streamlined Terakaft performs an intimate set at the Standard Hotel.

via Rhapsody’s The Mix: SoundTreks Saharan Blues

A Tenere Taqqim Tossam.”
Tahult In” (Imidiwan)
Arawan” (Amassakoul)
Afours Afours” (The Radio Tisdas Sessions).

Along with Etran Finatawa, Malian megagroup Tinariwen has garnered the most international fame for several reasons, not the least of which is the group’s rather literal manifestation of the radical power desert blues can wield. Several of Tinariwen’s members, who are of the Kel Tamasheq people, participated in revolutionary movements, training in Libyan military camps by day and learning Western rock and electric guitar by night. That history carried over onto the group’s 2001 debut, where no less than five guitarists and what sometimes sounded like an army of singers demanded recognition for the historically persecuted Kel Tamasheq people’s culture with quiet, powerful grace. Their subsequent work has alternately pushed at the boundaries of this already border-jumping genre (see buzzy new single “Tenere Taqqim Tossam,” featuring TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone) and gloriously returned to form (see 2009’s epically gorgeous Imidiwan: Companions).

Akoz Imgharen” (Aratan N Azawad)

Another up-and-coming Malian outfit, Terakaft set themselves apart with their use of acoustic guitars, bits of Afro-pop and the occasional lean into the country side of blues. If other groups are actively meditating, then Terakaft are just sitting back and chilling.

(via Terakaft Brings Desert Blues to SXSW 2012 | sxsw.com)

Terakaft makes its SXSW debut this year! 

“Centuries ago, Arab armies gave the indigenous, nomadic, fiercely independant people of the Western Sahara the name Tuareg ("rebels.”) Those people call themselves “Kel Tamasheq,” which is also the name of the newly-recorded fourth album from Terakaft, who will make their first journey to SXSW in March. The band Terakaft (“Caravan”) is closely related in personnel, ancestry and groove to Tinariwen (“the Deserts.”) Both bands are masters in the trance-like Desert Blues that combines centuries-old musical styles with psychedelic/folk electric guitars…“


Terakaft at the Standard Hotel

(via Music Review: Terakaft - Kel Tamasheq - Page 2 - Blogcritics Music)

“…One thing you will notice about the band’s songs is how the lyrics are usually only one or two statements in length. These are sung to the accompaniment of music that is almost trance like in its nature. A hypnotic drum beat underscores everything and acoustic guitar and bass emphasize the rhythm over which they are sung/chanted. Electric guitar adds both another layer to the beat, as well as rising out of it for short bursts of lead work. These are like flashes of lightening cutting across a desert sky creating stark silhouettes making specific objects stand out from the rest of the landscape. While the guitar offers one kind of punctuation to the songs, Naida and Yamina Nid El Mourid’s background vocalizations bring the sound of the desert to life.

…It’s a role that has recently taken on new importance as it’s become vital to ensure Kel Tamasheq are not lumped in with those who are using their people’s name in an attempt to give credibility to the recent armed rebellion in Northern Mali. By telling the world this is what we believe in and what we have fought for in the past, Terakaft makes it very clear this was not a Kel Tamasheq rebellion. Let’s just hope the world listens.”

Tuareg Nomadic Blues Rock

In my total ignorance, there are only few things I knw about Tuareg people:
1. They live in the Sahara Desert;
2. They wear stylish Tagelmust;
3. They don’t call themselves Tuareg;
4. They love guitars and blues;
I’ve already wrote about Bombino in the past, and the phenomenon of Tinariwen as been widely acquaintaned for deceades. Little less known is Terakft, a project that was born in 2001 from a side of Tinariwen and then moved to establish its own footprint and style. The core of the band is composed of a trio that takes the desert as their endless source of inspiration and the blues as their vehicle to travel in it, as a warm wind through countless dunes.
Terakaft’s music is once again the proof that electric guitars and Tamasheq language can be complementary, like the two humps of a camel, and both can gain from the union with the other.

Want more?
Official Site


Yeah okay, compare em to Tinariwen if you must, but know that Tinariwen were not the first, nor the last, and these here guys are just jumping on the same bandwagon. Commend them for sounding so good, and for doing a lot with so little. They have a new album out called “Aratan N Azawad” which I can’t recommend enough.

(via Terakaft – In Concert At FIP, Paris – 2013 – Nights At The Roundtable: Rock Without Borders Edition | Past Daily)

“You’ve probably heard about Terakaft this year. Described as the next generation of Mali‘s Desert Bluesmen, they did a small tour of the U.S. earlier this year, playing SXSW and becoming a surprise hit in the process. They are also coming back to the U.S., with gigs in Los Angeles (at the El Rey Theater) in November and several other cities.

But what you’ve most likely heard about Terakaft is they have been banned in their native Azawad, Mali. The members of the group are currently living in exile in Algeria. With the new, insane fundamentalist regime having taken over,  they have decided all Western and non-devotional music be outlawed and Militants have been spotted burning amplifiers, instruments and threatening musicians with amputation and death if they continue doing what they love. And you think getting a band together is tough here … . .

Needless to say, the world (at least the sane, rational part of it) has come to the rescue by shedding light on this lunacy. And in the process, has made some startling discoveries from a world of music a lot aren’t all that familiar with.

Terakaft are an amazing group of talented musicians. To say they are virtuoso guitarists is an understatement. They play an intoxicating mixture of East and West and all with such subtle, effortless grace and such avoidance of theatrics that their performances are mesmerizing.

This concert, recorded by Radio France – FIP and performed at FIP studios’ auditorium to a sold-out crowd, gives ample evidence of how truly unique this group is. It was recorded on April 4th of this year.

They are coming to L.A. in November. Get tickets now. Check their tour schedule and see if they are playing where you are. See them and experience them.

Despite all the insanity going on in the world – there are parts that are magnificent. Celebrate those.”


Terakaft - Imad Halan session live   

“In the language of the Sahara the name of the group Terakaft, founded in Mali in 2001, means caravan and Kel Tamashek refers to those who speak Tamashek, meaning The Tuareg People. Electric riffs swirl, twirl and prance through these songs that far from stereotypical clichés, recount the story of an authentic people. British guitarist and producer Justin Adams captures the trance-like motion that feeds Terakaft’s blues soaked desert-rock, music that is also the hallmark of Africa’s last remaining nomads.”