Audio

Imarhan Are Pushing the Boundaries of Desert Rock

The group's new album, Temet, doesn't just take the next step in Tuareg music. It sends it into hyperspace.

Imarhan's second studio album, Temet, is as much about where Tuareg music has been as it is about where it's going.

Throughout, the desert rock sextet seamlessly combines influences as diverse as Algerian Rai music, American jazz, Burkinabé funk, and global pop. But, given their heritage, this intelligent eclecticism makes perfect sense.

Imarhan's musical stylings stem from centuries old Tuareg traditions. As a semi-nomadic people, the Tuareg forged their culture across North Africa with territory stretching from Tripoli to Ouagadougou to Timbuktu. Tuareg music has always encompassed elements of the numerous cultures located along their historic trading routes while retaining their own unique pentatonic scales and polyrhythmic patterns. On their eponymously titled debut album, Imarhan paid homage to these origins through the emerging genre of desert rock and simultaneously nudged the tradition forward.

But Temet doesn't just take the next step in Tuareg music. It sends it into hyperspace.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.