Elwan, blending their haunting vocal chants with such guest stars as Kurt Vile and Mark Lanegan while retaining their distinctively mesmerizing swirl of shifting guitar patterns.
There’s a lot of great music coming out of Mali these days, from the sizzling guitar workouts of Vieux Farka Touré to the sunny Afro-pop of Salif Keita and the enchanting weave of sounds by Amadou & Mariam. But one of the most engrossing Malian groups remains Tinariwen, a literal guitar army who fought as rebel Tuareg freedom fighters in the Sahara Desert in the early 1990s before devoting themselves to music. Their sound is rooted in unique hammer-on plucking on multiple guitars that flash and flicker with an electric radiance. Led by singer-guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Tinariwen continue to mutate on their latest release,