Interview: Tinariwen

By Nina Caplan In Music

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25th February, 2012
What have you got to say, my friends, about this painful time we’re living through?” The question that powers Tassili, Tinariwen’s Grammy-winning fifth album, is, in many ways, typical of this utterly atypical band of Malian musicians, who will be in New Zealand at the International Arts Festival next month. It summons up the group and encourages conversation; it also acknowledges life’s difficulties (in this case, the political troubles in their native North Africa) without allowing them mastery. If Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is the heart of the Tinariwen collective, he is, like any heart, ...

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