Malian group, formed in 1982.
Plays a mix of blues, rock and traditional Tuareg music.

"Tinariwen" means "empty place" in the language of the Berbers of the Saharan desert.
The artwork of some of the band's releases features symbols which look like "+10:1", "+IO:I" or similar. This is not a mathematical formula or any other alphanumerical Latin script but the band's name in Tifinagh script.


K7 S.A. Tinariwen - Ténéré album art Groupe Tinarwen* Ténéré(Cass, Album) EMI K7 S.A. Mali 1993 Sell This Version
Wayward 703 Tinariwen - The Radio Tisdas Sessions album art Tinariwen The Radio Tisdas Sessions (Album) Wayward Records Wayward 703 UK 2001 Sell This Version
IRL014 Tinariwen - Amassakoul album art Tinariwen Amassakoul (Album) Independent Records Ltd. IRL014 Europe 2003 Sell This Version
FM022 Tinariwen - Aman Iman: Water Is Life album art Tinariwen Aman Iman: Water Is Life (Album) Independiente FM022 Australia & New Zealand 2006 Sell This Version
ISOM78LP Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions album art Tinariwen Imidiwan: Companions (Album) Independiente ISOM78LP UK 2009 Sell This Version
VVR 774668 Tinariwen - Tassili album art Tinariwen Tassili (Album) V2 VVR 774668 Europe 2011 Sell This Version
none Tinariwen - Live At Bouffes Du Nord album art Tinariwen Live At Bouffes Du Nord(8xFile, MP3) Not On Label none UK 2011
W13LP3/CD Tinariwen - Emmaar album art Tinariwen Emmaar (Album) Wedge W13LP3/CD UK 2013 Sell This Version
87428-2 Tinariwen - Live In Paris album art Tinariwen Live In Paris (Album) Wedge 87428-2 US 2015 Sell This Version
PIASL168CD Tinariwen - Elwan album art Tinariwen Elwan (Album) Wedge, [pias] PIASL168CD Australia 2017 Sell This Version
87703-2 Tinariwen - Amadjar album art Tinariwen Amadjar (Album) Wedge 87703-2 US 2019 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

10298 Tinariwen - Chet Boghassa album art Tinariwen Chet Boghassa(CD, Single, Promo, Car) Emma Productions, Triban Union 10298 France 2003 Sell This Version
TIN1 Tinariwen - Matadjem Yinmixan album art Tinariwen Matadjem Yinmixan(CD, Single, Promo) Independiente TIN1 UK 2008 Sell This Version
COOPR417 Tinariwen Imidiwan Ma Tenam(CD, Single) V2 COOPR417 Europe 2011 Sell This Version
COOPR374 Tinariwen - Tenere Taqqim Tossam album art Tinariwen Featuring Kyp Malone & Tunde Adebimpe* Tinariwen Featuring Kyp Malone & Tunde Adebimpe* - Tenere Taqqim Tossam(CD, Single, Promo) V2, Cooperative Music COOPR374 UK 2011 Sell This Version
RRC005 Tinariwen - Tenere Taqqim Tossam album art Tinariwen Tenere Taqqim Tossam(12", Ltd) Rise Record Club RRC005 UK 2011 Sell This Version
VVR700662 Tinariwen - Tassili Remix E.P. album art Tinariwen Tassili Remix E.P.(12", EP, Ltd, Mar) V2 VVR700662 UK & Europe 2012 Sell This Version
none Tinariwen - Inside / Outside album art Tinariwen Inside / Outside (EP) Wedge none UK 2013 Sell This Version
none Tinariwen - Toumast Tincha album art Tinariwen Toumast Tincha (Single) [PIAS] Cooperative none Europe 2014 Sell This Version
none Tinariwen - Tiwayyen album art Tinariwen Tiwayyen(CDr, Single, Promo) Not On Label none UK 2014 Sell This Version
10590 Tinariwen - Arawan album art Tinariwen Arawan(CD, Single, Promo) Universal 10590 Unknown Sell This Version


ISOM75DVD Tinariwen - Live In London album art Tinariwen Live In London(DVD-V) Independiente Ltd. ISOM75DVD UK 2008 Sell This Version
FTH088DVD Tinariwen - Live @ Koko album art Tunng & Tinariwen Tunng & Tinariwen - Live @ Koko(DVD-V, Ltd) Full Time Hobby FTH088DVD UK 2010 Sell This Version


ASPSAMP1 Tinariwen - African Soul Rebels * The Sampler * UK Tour 2005 album art Rachid Taha, Tinariwen, Daara J Rachid Taha, Tinariwen, Daara J - African Soul Rebels * The Sampler * UK Tour 2005(CD, Smplr) Music Beyond Mainstream ASPSAMP1 UK 2005 Sell This Version
none Tinariwen Tiny Desk Concert(File, MP3, 128) National Public Radio none 2012

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March 21, 2012
edited over 10 years ago
Tinariwen is a Tuareg group that performs in a Middle Eastern/African style similar to artists like Ali Farka Toure or Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. All of the musicians originate from the southern Sahara, the group's name, meaning "empty places," is a reflection of their land of origin. The band formed in the rebel camps of Colonel Ghadaffi, as each of the musicians had been forced from their nomadic lifestyle into involuntary military service. Surrounded by a displaced nation of their peers, Tinariwen forged a new style of music, trading their traditional lutes and shepherd's flutes for electric guitars and drums. The style that resulted was dubbed "Tishoumaren," or "the music of the unemployed." Their music addressed issues such as political awakening, problems of exile, repression of their people, and demands of sovereignty. In a region with no postal or telephone system, their tapes soon became a grassroots voice of rebellion and a rallying point for a disenfranchised nation. Though outlawed in Algeria and Mali, 2001's The Radio Tisdas Sessions and 2004's Amassakoul are available to Western audiences. In 2006, they recorded their third album, Aman Iman: Water Is Life, released internationally in 2007 by Harmonia Mundi's World Village imprint. The album was produced by Justin Adams, and featured the voice and guitar of founding member Mohammed Ag Itlale. Tinariwen toured the world for the first time in its wake. They followed the album with Imidiwan: Companions, a two-disc set containing one disc of music and a DVD documentary about Tinariwen's history. This was once again followed by a world tour that included numerous festival appearances in the United States and Europe. Tinariwen signed to America's Anti imprint in 2010. The label encouraged them to experiment. The end result is Tassili, issued in 2011, in which the band recorded completely acoustically in a protected region of the Southeastern Algerian Desert. The tapes were flown to America where guitarist Nels Cline overdubbed electric guitars and New Orleans' famed Dirty Dozen Brass Band added horns, making Tassili a truly international collaboration.

Tinariwen, the Malian Touraeg group, finally broke through to Western audiences with 2007's Aman Iman and 2009's Imidiwan -- culminating in an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival -- 20 years after their inception. The increased profile did little to alter their "desert blues" with its incantatory droning -- primarily electric -- guitars, claps and organic percussion, and chanted vocals in songs about struggle and independence (some of Tinariwen's members were once rebel guerilla fighters). That sound comes out of a nation that exists between the harsh Sahara and the lush African savannah to the south, but it has less in common with other Malian musicians because the band is nomadic, never staying in one place for long. Tassili, named for the region of the Algerian desert they cut the record in, is Tinariwen's Anti label debut. It is similar, at least structurally, to its predecessors. Tinariwen play their trademark, labyrinthine music on acoustic guitars this time -- a back to basics development in itself. Conversely, they've allowed trusted producers Ian Brennan and Jean Paul Romann some liberties in letting Western musicians participate on some cuts. Opener "Imidiwan Ma Tennam" commences much as their music has in the past, with the guitars and lead vocals of Ibrahim Ag Alhabib to lead his bandmates in a snakey weave of handclaps, chants, and secondary guitars to follow his own. A little later, Nels Cline's electric guitar almost imperceptibly slithers into the mix, with a stunning but blunted array of effects; they take nothing away from the song's essence. "Ya Messinagh" begins as a single riff blues before handclaps and a second acoustic guitar answer it in what is the closest thing to a Delta blues intro that Tinariwen has recorded. Ag Alhabib's soulful earthy vocals are met at the end of the second verse by the sonorous open tones of brass and reeds by members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. What's amazing is just how seamless their interaction is. On "Walla Illa" and two other cuts, TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone add vocals and guitars; they add a textual element to other cuts while restraining themselves vocally and instrumentally so as not to intrude. These artists may or may not extend the Touareg group's reach into the West. If so, they've done so without Tinariwen compromising their sound. These songs are simply Tinariwen doing what they do best: being themselves, albeit more powerfully, not because of the collaborations, but because of the acoustic approach they've taken here. Their sound is dustier, more evocative of the landscape they wander; Tassili is as desolate -- and as timeless -- as the desert itself.

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