Igloo Mondo Kel Assouf : Tin Hinane (GH/ML/ALG/MR/F-B,2011)****
(Kel Assouf =translated as ”son of the desert/son of the boundless/nostalgia")
The first Touareg Rebellion under the form of the electric Touareg Guitar Music like with the Desert Rebel project back in in the nineties was the beginning of a consciousness and awareness to give a voice to the Touareg’s position, because the total group was stuck without having representation in the independence, because the desert people were forgotten, without any rights at that time. Their music was the voice to unite, to create a consciousness and keep the culture together. Nowadays another concern came up and in 2007 there was a second revolt because the desert is turning into an industrial zone in search for uranium, now also excluding the people from their open space grounds. With the title “Tin Hinane” the band refers to the ancient Touareg queen who took part of the earliest revolts. Because the band is based in Belgium and involves many other Africans (from Niger, Mali, Togo, Algeria, Mauritania, and Ghana) and some Europeans (from France and Belgium) it now reaches hands from a common ground.
Aboubacar Harouna had moved to Brussels and married a Belgian woman, set up his own group in continuation of the Touareg Guitar tradition singing also in Tamazight language and creating a similar Touareg communal music form. Different from the other bands is that the enrichments of the other members expand the musical form gently and without brusque differences, spontaneous and conscious over the musical cooperations. The basic form is not rebellious but that of a gentle minded songwriter and voice, playing his typical repetitive electric guitar style. His voice has moments of sad regrets but is also full of joy and love and sharing energy.
On “Alkas” the other band members show the group energy well, expanding the style with different variations of rhythm or contra-rhythms and talent to improvise, from which especially the flute is a remarkable expansion of the fundaments. The second guitar, clearly from a different style background, is also careful, never too difficult or never disturbing. In the second a bit, and more clearly in the third track we hear a contribution from the West-African kora, combined with acoustic guitars, another nice example of the reaching hand of a style expansion. Even though, like I said, such interactions of styles are cautiously done and without going far beyond its foundations, it is already beyond all other examples I have heard from Touareg music; this works well. From the few tracks with slight moves towards bluesy and reggae-like rhythms, I am always a bit cautious when I hear this, I can say that luckily they only carry the songs lightly rhythmically, so that the songs themselves and the total expressions can still do their work well and are able to be the strongest musical voice over this. Often the music is relaxed, and the mood kept light and always with a warm sound. On Talit the guitar is picking electrified acoustically. Here, sweet woman voices and flute respond. A successful addition to the Touareg Guitar Music scene.