Tinariwen Tuareg Band — Public Domain Wikipedia

Even today, poetry and music together are of great importance in Tuareg society.

It is a permanent symbol and driving force of the identity of these people who have always been nomadic.

Music and poetry travel hand in hand — —
performed using two fundamental instruments: the tindé drum and a violin with just one string.

But —
some new music has started to appear over the last twenty years
in the Sahara.

In fact, some Tuareg bands have started playing rock.

The Berbers gave a personal interpretation to rock, mixing ancient, groovy, hypnotic tribal sounds to blues and rock rhythms, recalling that originating in African-American communities in the 1940s.

Some of them have hit the big time, and now —

They play in great music festivals worldwide or as an alternative in the Sahara dunes under an infinite sky.

To the pleasure of audiences of scorpions.

It is amazing to see them play the guitar, wearing the indigo-dyed clothes they traditionally wear that stain their skin.

This is why the Tuareg are called the blue men.

The Tuareg have beautiful features smoothed by ochre sand, by rocks, and the amazing dunes of the Sahara —

of which they were undisputed rulers,

of which they were —

(they have long been a people without a homeland) —

so uniquely different to other ethnicities for pride and bearing —
and seem to come out of a story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Who knows if they will keep the flame of their identity burning —
or if repressed everywhere, they will become the suburbian sedentary daydreamers of the Sahel.

Anyway…

Tuareg rock mixes superbly tribal, ancient rhythms — —
with more modern virtuosities reminiscent of Jimmy Hendrix’s rocking, jazz-based music with a heavy, insistent beat.

I really like, for example, Tamikrest, for their intense music accompanied by the sound of the “youyou” of the singers.

And Tinariwen, who represent the perfect synthesis between ancient and modern as well.

How did I come across their amazing music?

I came across Tuareg rock music by accident.

Some years ago, I was watching a documentary revealing the story of these proud Berber people, whose origins are lost in history —

and as background music, a track by Tinariwen was playing.

It wasn’t loved at the first note, indeed, because it is music that captures you without you noticing.

But after a while, I felt the perfect assonance
of ancient rhythms and electric guitars and blue men walking in the desert along streets visible only to their eyes.

And I felt good —

as such impalpable harmony had quenched my thirst for beauty.


Note: Tinawiren
“The band became famous first in France, then in the rest of the world. Still, undoubtedly, Tassili’s (2011) exploit — great success with audiences and critics and Grammy for best world music album — allowed Tinariwen to gain further media attention and artistic credibility”. From La Republica newspaper.

Bombino is a good rock singer as well.
He and his friends watched videos of Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, and others while living in Algeria and Libya in their teen years —
to learn their styles.
Bombino come from the Italian bambino, child…”