Released: Mar 2008
Label: Real World Records
So much great desert blues is coming out of Africa right now it's almost hard to keep up. But Toumast makes it easy with Ishumar, which is such a solid, deftly produced piece of work it may just find its way into heavy rotation and never leave. Comparisons to Tinariwen are inevitable, but Toumast's guitar-and-voice sound is both more spare and more experimental, thanks to the adventurous Parisian production, which throws echoes of sax, bass guitar and spoken word translations of the Berber lyrics behind those addictive, rolling guitars. All in all, a beautiful release.