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Tinariwen are unbelievable. Members of Mali's persecuted, desert-dwelling Temashek (Touareg) people, most members of the band were in revolutionary movements in their youth. Many in fact went to Libya to train in Qaddafi-sponsored military camps, where they learned military skills by day and western pop and electric guitar by night. In recent years, as Mali's bullying of this historically nomadic people has ebbed, their distinct culture has surfaced. Tinariwen are part of this trend. With no less than five guitar players and a raft of vocalists, they make some of the most hypnotic and weirdly aquatic music to come out of Africa. 2003's Radio Tisdas Sessions brought them worldwide acclaim. Recorded in two weeks in a studio with periodic power outages, the band gave the performance of its life, and has been a darling of world music fans since, appearing on 2003's phenomenal Festival in the Desert compilation.
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