“…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.”
“The desert rockers Terakaft are playing at Joe’s Pub on October 19th at 11:55pm and we’ve got a pair of tickets that you could win. Just send us an email at email@example.com with the subject line “Terakaft Ticket Giveaway” and your name for a chance to see the Saharan group live for free. Terakaft, which means “caravan” in the Tamasheq language, was formed in 2001 by Sanou Ag Ahmed, who learned to play the guitar as a young refugee in Tamanghasset.
Terakaft has deep ties to the now legendary group Tinariwen. Sanou founded Terakaft with Kedou, one of Tinariwen’s formative members. The group is currently led by Sanou’s uncle Liya Ag Ablil AKA Diara, another formative member of Tinariwen. Diara and Sanou both played on Tinariwen’s 2009 album Imidiwan: Companions, and Sanou contributed the song “Iswegh Attay” to Tinariwen’s latest record, Tassili.
Terakaft’s own last album, 2012’s Kel Tamasheq means “Speakers of Tamasheq,” a term often preferred for self-designation over “Tuareg.” Though they have roots in the same Ishumar tradition as Tinariwen, Terakaft have developed a style of their own– a distinctively fast-paced electric guitar-based sound. Check it out for yourself in the video below…”