Tamikrest are a group of desert nomads from Mali, Niger and Algeria. They have been branded the "spiritual sons" of Malian super-group Tinariwen, and tonight join Lopa Kothari in session. Producer James Parkin
Tamashek is the language of the Touareg, a nomadic people inhabiting the Saharan desert across various countries, including Niger, Algeria, Libya and Mali. The name Tamikrest is Tamashek for junction or connection or coalition. The seven members of Tamikrest, who originate from Mali, Niger and Algeria, came together to express their Touareg identity through Ishumar rock, the Touareg rebel music.
The band's leader and songwriter, 27-year-old singer/guitarist Ousmane Ag Mossa explains: "When Touareg children arrive in the public Malian schools, they are soon confronted with an administration that refuses to see the realities our people suffer. Our hope is to have the world listen to our revolutionary songs, which reflect the harsh life conditions that our people endure."
Tamikrest's songs also praise the desert, a place that is fundamental for the Touareg. And it was in the silky dunes of Essakane at the 2008 Festival of the Desert where they met Dirtmusic, a group of rock'n'roll veterans from the USA and Australia. With their tents side by side not only did they share Touareg tea, but they also found themselves jamming together and discovered that their ideas and music fit perfectly.
The two bands stayed in touch, and Dirtmusic later returned to Mali to record their own album "BKO" which features Tamikrest, Fadimata from Tartit as well as Lobi Traoré (to be released in the spring of 2010). Soon after, Dirtmusic's Chris Eckman returned to Mali to produce Tamikrest's debut album at the famous studio Bogolan in Bamako.