Tamikrest - Chatma
Experimentalism of Tuaraeg band's third album bodes well for the future
Chatma, the third album from the young Tuaraeg band Tamikrest, is certainly a confident affair. 'Tisnant an Chatna' is strong opener, with its cyclical guitar riff, loping groove and the striking vocal melodies and ululations of female singer Wonou Walet Sidati. But hark! What is this sound which offends my ears? Why, it's new guitarist Paul Salvagnac's slick blues licks. His sub-Clapton interjections are mercifully brief, but they are symptomatic of the classic rock vibes which occasionally veer Chatma towards Jools Holland territory. That said, Tamikrest have plenty of fire in their bellies, and the terrific 'Imanin bas Zihoun' choogles along like a Saharan Creedence Clearwater Revival. 'Itous' deftly fuses the Tuareg camel-clop rhythm with a reggae stepper beat, aided in no small part by Cheik Ag Tigly's supple bass. 'Assikal's' Pink Floyd-inspired atmospherics are a little portentous, but Tamikrest's willingness to experiment bodes well for the future.