NOT IN STOCK
"Malian group Terakaft's second album, Akh Issudar (the title refers to an old Touareg proverb - 'Aman iman, akh issudar' -- 'Water is life, milk is survival'), sweeps onto the U.S. scene like a searing sirocco fresh off the Sahara. Their keening, scratchy singing veers off onto curvy, Islamic-flavored tangents and passages of 'talking blues,' discursive chanting, and raucous call-and-response, punctuated by wailing, cries, ululations and even an underlying, buzzing drone. Note how the chorus matches the sinuous lead vocal note-for-note on 'Islegh Teghram.' But the multi-layered guitars crown all, with their rich, round, sensually tinny chords and lead riffs, inexorable, multi-layered and impulsive. They evoke the Mississippi Delta at high noon, T. Rex and the early Stones, garage bands without number, and even the late, great Ali Farka Touré, but with ornate, back-leaning rhythms that stride, limp, twirl and spring ahead at the speed of light. The closing instrumental interplay on 'Amdagh' is mind-boggling, but only one of many such highlights. Wielding their guitars like icy-hot torches of change and enlightenment, these indigo-swathed musicians, masked to their hawk-like eyes, have fashioned a potent, blues-like sound that makes the hips itchy -- it's impossible to stand still around this music!"