Tinariwen have recently completed recording their new album, the band’s seventh, in the rocky desert near M’Hamid (also known by its Berber name, Taragalte), a little town in southern Morocco, located in the Draa valley in the Zagora area.
The area was chosen as their home town in northern Mali proved to be too unstable and dangerous due to renewed conflict. It is also a place of significant cultural importance to the Tuareg-Berber people, the location where all the caravans would stop before making the long journey to Timbuktu
Recording started in February 2016 when they set up a mobile recording studio under canvas surrounded by dunes and spent 3 weeks playing, writing and recording.
The album will also include music recorded during the Rancho De La Luna session they did in 2014, in Joshua Tree with Alain Johannes, Kurt Vile and Matt Sweeney.
Tinariwen played in Taragalte for the first time in 2008 at the inaugural festival (www.taragalte.org) and while there the festival promoters invited the band to stay and record. From there the idea grew and it soon became clear that Taragalte was an obvious place to record their new album – a ‘cultural crossroads’, and location that proved traditional borders mean little to Tinariwen and their music.
Sharing the same visceral feeling for their land, their freedom, their simplicity of life, and "assouf" (which is a sense of absolute and deep nostalgia felt when one is far from his homeland) was something Tinariwen shared with their nomad brothers from Taragalte, something that resonated especially with the younger generation from the Zagora area.
And in October 2016 they return to the Festival Taragalte, where they will perform tracks from the new album and invite musicians from the region to come on stage.