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”

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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.”

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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.

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Terakaft - Alghalem (live)

(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…”

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Terakaft “Intidgagen”

To my ears, The Black Keys clearly have been listening to Northern African guitar bands like Terakaft and Tinariwen. The sound, the feel…everything.

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.

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(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.”

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Terakaft at the Standard Hotel