Those looking for a desert blues fix should check out Imarhan Timbuktu’s Akal Warled out now on the Clermont Music label. Founded in 1993 by lead guitarist and vocalist Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar, Imarhan Timbuktu is the real deal, spending much of their music career traveling throughout northern and southern Mali working the dance club and private party scenes.
Joined by Ousmane Ag Oumar on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Fadimata Walet Oumar on tende hand drum and backing vocals, Zeinabou Walet Oumar on tende hand drum and backing vocals, Baba Traore on bass and Alpha Ousamane Sankare dit Hama on calabash, Imaran Timbuktu has become a traveling musical voice for the trouble people of Mali and a featured group at the Festival au Desert. With all the songs of Akal Warled composed and arranged by Mohamed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansari, this recording captures the continuing will of these musicians and the people of Mali.
Seamlessly blending electric guitar and bass with the traditional hand drums, clapping and ululations familiar to desert blues bands, Imarhan Timbuktu sets up a breezy feel with the revolving rhythms of the opening Aicha Talamomt” surrounded by infectious hand drumming, claps and vocals. That familiar feel good feeling transfers to tracks like title track “Akal Warled,” kick ass guitar licked “Amassakoul In Tenere” and the meaty rhythms of “Ehela Damohele.”
“Taliat Ta Silkhourout” is brimming over with coolness, as does the catchy percussion infused “Taliat Malat” and the closing track “Tidawt” with its shimmering guitar licks that rise like waves of heat off the desert sands.
Packed with those easy rhythms, call and response vocals and hypnotic percussion at the heart of Mali’s musical landscape, Akal Warled delivers the goods. (source)
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