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Tartit and Tinariwen at Cité de la Musique

Tinariwen_color_300dpi_9x6[1]Text: Brendan Seibel
Photo: Eric Mullet

Over the past couple of years Malian music has enjoyed a surge in popularity. Typically it is packaged for Western audiences as the African blues of Ali Farka Touré, the light afro-pop of Amadou and Mariam, or saturated in down-tempo electronics by European producers. The dry Saharan winds are blowing something entirely different into town, settling at Cité de la Musique.

Times long past echo in the music of Tartit. A group of nomadic Tuareg people, this band of five women and four men resurrect desert spirits through entrancing chants and hypnotic melodies. At the root of their power lies the strength and vitality of people brought together by misery and death, a union forged amidst the refugee camps of a displaced people. Beauty and despair intertwine, softly flowing forth with tales of hardship and joy, profound messages of the human experience simply crafted by a mixture of traditional and modern instruments.

While Tartit's haunting songs sooth and nurture, their Malian compatriots Tinariwen hit the stage with an assured swagger. Heavily indebted to a mixture of African sounds and electrically fused by revolution rock, this outfit has sung the hope and anger of the Tuareg people for three decades. Their brash style was born in the desperate refugee camps, the dusty desert roads between cities, the military camps of paramilitaries. Wah-wah pedals, hand claps and drums, intricate Arabic guitar lines, and every voice calling to the skies, an emotional journey from traded cassettes to international tours, Tinariwen invest a lifetime in each song. What shines through is the triumph and joy, the homecoming, of exiles no more.

Tartit & Tinariwen
Friday, February 12th at 8pm
Cité de la Musique
221 Avenue Jean Jaurès
Mº Porte de Pantin
Tickets: €24-€20

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