Founded by Ibrahim Ag Alhabib in about 1979, Tinariwen hail from the Sarahan Desert, Mali (West Africa). Tinariwen loosely translates to "Boys from the bush" or "The people of the deserts," while Tinariwen is in fact the plural of Ténéré - "Desert, country[side]." Over the course of the past 30+ years, there have been various permutations of the band's line-up... Though it currently includes: Ibrahim ("Abaraybone"), Hassan Ag Touhami ("Aharr" AKA "Abin Abin"), Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni ("Catastrophe"), Eyadou Ag Leche, Said Ag Ayad, Abdallah Ag Lamida ("Intidao"), Elaga Ag Hamid, Wonou Walet Sidati, and Mohammed Ag Tahada. The majority of the members handle either guitar or [backing] vocal duties... But there are percussion, bass, and other miscellaneous players in the fold.
ANTI- will unleash Tassili this coming August 30th. Said album will mark Tinariwen's 5th state-side full-length [CD] since 2001. Prior to this, the band only recorded/released free cassettes to any African citizen with a blank tape. These homemade "mixtapes" were then widely traded throughout the Saharan region. Tinariwen's backcatalog is often categorized as either Assouf (Tuareg for "Guitar-driven"), African Blues, or Tamashek/Desert Guitar.
Stripping the "electric" from their Electric Blues sounds, Tinariwen holed up in the middle of the South-Eastern Algerian Desert... Recording Tassili with only acoustic guitars and un-amplified percussive elements. For part of the album sessions, the collective was joined by Tunde Adebimpe/Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), Nels Cline (Wilco), and Dirty Dozen Brass Band [horn section]. Again, Tinariwen - Tassili is slated for an August 30th release, while TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light album/film is now available... and Wilco's next album (Get Well Soon, Everybody) should be out around Sept. 2011. Parts 1-2 of "Tinariwen Documentary" (2007) are view-able on YouTube and European/North American Tour dates are listed over @ Pitchfork (June-Dec.)