LOW STOCK LEVEL
Aman Iman: Water Is Life
"Tinariwen's songs, with rutted five-tone scales and wreathed in handclaps, are propelled by icy-hot guitars over sinuous French and Tamashek vocals. The material sometimes contains recollections of other Malian luminaries, such as Amadou and Mariam, Habib Koité, Oumou Sangare, and the late Ali Farka Toure, plus New World descendants like Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and untold generations of Delta bluesmen. Their lyrics speak of drought and displacement, deceased heroes, and assouf, which, like Brazilian saudade, can mean longing, nostalgia, and love of home, but also a desert-dweller's bone-deep craving for open wilderness and solitude. Aman Iman, their third CD for World Village, was produced by British bluesman and label-mate Justin Adams and recorded at Bogolan studios in Bamako, Mali. The album's fifteen tracks celebrate their heritage in all its trance-inducing, hip-shaking, majesty, mystery, and magic. The third track, 'Matadjem Yinmixan' ('Why All This Hate Between You?'), harbors tantalizing echoes of European troubadour music, which after all evolved from some of the same ancient Muslim sources. On 'Ahimana' ('Oh My Soul'), original founding member Mohammed Ag Itlale interprets a style more usually performed by women, paradoxically with no loss of masculinity. Throughout, rangy, cloaked pickers are flanked by a female chorus whose hand drums are spiked by sharp, off-center clapping, shrill ululation, and fervent responses to the men's singing. Together, they goad one another to heights of fervent experimentation while basking amid hallowed folkways."