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Tinariwen

Performing Arts

Photo: Marie Planeille

Tinariwen

with Kishi Bashi

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 8 PM

"Hypnotic grooves, blistering desert funk guitar work and melodies which drift from eerie melancholy to keening defiance."—Time Out London

Since Tinariwen last played the Wexner Center, the band have won over fans worldwide with their desert blues powered by droning guitar grooves and politically charged lyrics. Tinariwen (whose name translates as "empty places") represent the Touareg people, the exiled Berber wanderers of the south Sahara, whose rebel identity they express in songs that describe this disenfranchised people’s expulsion from Algeria, ongoing strife in Mali, and cry for self-determination.

Their edgy bluesy music is charged with a raw energy that Pitchfork has praised as "a celebration of a return to the desert and of the people who live there." That review also described the band's "big choral vocals and time set aside for breathtaking flights on the guitar" with "lead lines sliding, reverberant, and ghostly in support of the weathered vocals." The critic summed up Tinariwen's appeal in these words: "There is a unique magic to the sounds of the Sahara. Tinariwen captures that magic with skillful grace."

Opening the show is Kishi Bashi, the pseudonym for Japanese-American violinist K. Ishibashi who has performed with musicians including Of Montreal and Regina Spektor. As Kishi Bashi he uses a loop pedal to weave together vocal and violin melodies, building intricately layered songs informed by his background in classical music.

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