Thursday 2.8.2018 @ Helsinki, Tavastia
Tickets from Tiketti starting at 20,50 €
When Imarhan released their self-titled debut album in 2016,
their tender, soulful, intense vision of a genre of music that was already
flooded with talent and exposure still managed to float to the top and be
heralded as a pivotal record of the "New Wave Of Tuareg Music". It is
with much anticipation that the band from Tamarasset, Algeria have announced
the details of their second album "Temet", due February 23 on City
"Temet" is a huge leap forward in the creative
sound and production for the band. Whereas their debut was anchored in the
meditative desert blues tradition, Temet blows clear of any such notions,
finding bounce and drive by stirring their sound with funk, fuzz, disco and
This is not an alien mood to the band: any of the (thousands?)
of people who have danced at their live shows will attest to the disparity
between their emotional and thoughtful first release and the raucous, ecstatic
live shows the band ripped through, for hours at a time, in their 2017 tours.
While "Temet" is decisively more eclectic than their debut, their
wisdom and singular vision is as manifest as it was in their first offering.
Imarhan's experience as a touring band since the first album has only honed
their focus and meaning behind their music: Their focus in this case is a
Nomadic traveller's reflection on today's struggles. "Temet" in
Tamashek means "connections" - It's an energetic wake up call for
unity, reminding people that we are all are connected and that only through the
acceptance and uptake of this union will we be able to solve the troubles all
cultures seem to be dealing with in this important moment in time.
"People should love each other. They need to know each
other, we need to know each other, everyone should get to know their neighbour.
We need to have the same approach as our elders. You will stumble across an old
man who knows the world and will hand down his knowledge to his children."
Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane – aka Sadam
"Temet" also finds the band merging with the
realities of their own maturity and influence. In the decade leading up to
their first release, Imarhan were considered the youngsters of the Tuareg
Desert Blues revolution. They started in 2008 whilst still still at school
under the guidance and counsel of their "bigger brothers" Tinariwen.
Adding to this legacy was a meaningful guitar gifted to Sadam by his cousin and
key member of Tinariwen, Eyadou Ag Leche, who also produced the first Imarhan
album. Their status has now been elevated with the growing success of Imarhan;
the international press, and the worldwide tours through the US, China and
Europe have paved their way to become their own entity within the Algerian
music community. With this ascension of career and influence, they ultimately
have become the new elders in their community and have been granted the
importance and responsibility towards the blossoming new generations. Their
role as a leader to groups of young people around the Mali border region makes
them increasingly important in the direction of the hearts and minds of people
directly in the frontlines of the changing modern world.
"We want children to be educated, to develop a mindset
that will protect what is left of this community because I've come to the
conclusion that everything has an end and everything evolves. Even the Tamashek
language is gradually disappearing. (...) Even we're confronted with this
issue, but we're fighting to preserve it.It's the music that keeps us connected
to the language, and allows us to continue speaking it."
The knockout tracks are immediately recognisable on a first
listen: the first single 'Azzaman' has hints of krautrock riffing before
turning into a passionate new community anthem or 'Tumast' as a blazing,
fervent liberation song that beats giant all-for-one handclaps thundering over
a frenetic guitar riff, leaving one in the delirious ecstasy of freedom, or
'Ehad Wad Dagh', the intensely heavy disco jam that really blows out any
pre-existing concept of Tuareg music. However, it is really important the album
isn't judged on it's powerful dance songs alone; there are subtle tones here as
well, there's also the songs that relate to the individual sound of the first
record, classic elegiac Imarhan songs that spread out like an entire landscape
in front of you, 'Imuhagh', 'Tarha Nam', 'Zinizjumegh' and most notably the
emotional and heedful acoustic guitar album-closer 'Mas S-abok'.
With "Temet", Imarhan have firmly established
themselves as a band to reckon with. Rather than being distracted by meddling
around with big producers or famous guests, they've focused this release on
their inherited strength of songwriting, using the eternal bonds in their
community, families and friendships as a blueprint not only for an amazing
standalone album, but as a reference for generations to come.
hope that Imarhan will allow the younger generation to become aware of the
fundamental importance of friendship. As long as someone is by your side
supporting you, who begs for your friendship, what more could you want out of
life? You will want for nothing."