AotMC #17: June 2016Label: City Slang
Imarhan - Imarhan LP/CD
(City Slang Records)
w/ The Printout zine
Included The Printout #17: 12 pages with reviews and rants by Dave Rodriguez & Chaz!
"I wanted to go a different route this month. I've been inundating everyone with rock and twang, because those are my regular genres, and I hadn't quite pipelined anything outside of that box out there into your stereos. Combing through emails from Mississippi Records and Forced Exposure, I wanted something challenging and a little different, but it had to be familiar under the surface. I kept circling back to MDOU MOCTAR, but given Mississippi Records' sister label Sahel Sounds' penchant for small presses that sell out fast, I knew it was unlikely they would have over 50 copies on hand to send my way. I knew a local distributor would have a fair amount of a German label's new release of a similar Tuareg band on hand since they're the label's main stateside hub, so I set my eyes on the new IMARHAN LP. It's been a steady play in the shop and it's a perfect pairing for a walk or long roadtrip. With a hot summer coming on, what's better than a little loose, dusty-blues desert-jam session from a group of Southern Algerian musicians who know something about the heat. Surrounded by the Saharan Desert, their town of Tamanrasset is the chief city for the Algerian Tuareg people. Growing up in the heart of it, the musicians soaked up their families' traditional music, but also left room for anything they could absorb through the internet as kids. It's like not being able to shake the sound of New Orleans if you grew up a jazz kid there. It's in your very bones despite any kind of outside influence you might take on. Off the bat I'm hearing a little 70s jam, blisterin' guitar rock and even a funky backspin – what do you hear??" -chaz