Legendary guitar-poets Tinariwen are set to release their much-anticipated follow up to the award winning Aman Iman (Outside). Imidiwan: Companions will be released August 18th on the Outside Music label. The Tuareg band’s fourth album is vintage Tinariwen: raw, defiant, fragile and uncompromisingly real. The CD is accompanied by a short DVD film by French filmmaker Jessy Nottola, and reaffirms Tinariwen’s global status as one of the most popular and significant groups ever to have come out of Mali.

In December of 2008 the old and the young gathered in the sleepy desert village of Tessalit to record Tinariwen’s fourth album. It seemed like the ideal place; quiet, off the beaten track, home to band-members Hassan and Ibrahim, blessed with a plentiful water supply and a friendly familiar populace. The group had expressed a strong desire to return to their roots and recapture the raw desert sound of their early recordings. Jean-Paul Romann, who had worked with Justin Adams on The Radio Tisdas Sessions eight years previously, was recruited to produce the album. He arrived with a studio in a suitcase, which was set up in a rented adobe house in the middle of the village, and powered by a chugging generator. The sessions proceeded slowly, surely, in pace with the rhythm of life in that remote corner of Africa.

Over the past seven years, the group have played over 700 concerts in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. Tinariwen has graced bills of the world’s premier rock and world music festivals including Glastonbury, Coachella, Roskilde, Paleo, Les Vieilles Charrues, WOMAD and Printemps de Bourges. Their 2004 CD Amassakoul (The Traveler) and its follow-up in 2007 Aman Iman (Water Is Life), have established them as one of the most popular and best selling African groups on the planet. Their ever expanding fan base includes a host of stars and legends: Carlos Santana, Robert Plant, Bono and the Edge, Thom Yorke, Chris Martin, Henry Rollins, Brian Eno, TV on the Radio. In 2005 they were awarded a BBC Award for World Music, and in 2008 they received Germany’s prestigious Praetorius Music Prize.

“Life-Enriching” **** – Observer Music Monthly

“Another Tinariwen classic” **** – The Guardian

**** – The Independent