Tinariwen is a Tuareg group that performs in a Middle Eastern/African. All of the musicians originate from the southern Sahara, the group's name, meaning "empty places," is a reflection of their land of origin. The band formed in the rebel camps of Colonel Ghadaffi, as each of the musicians had been forced from their nomadic lifestyle into involuntary military service. Surrounded by a displaced nation of their peers, Tinariwen forged a new style of music, trading their traditional lutes and shepherd's flutes for electric guitars and drums. The style that resulted was dubbed "Tishoumaren," or "the music of the unemployed." Tinariwen signed to America's Anti imprint in 2010. The label encouraged them to experiment. The end result is Tassili, issued in 2011, in which the band recorded completely acoustically in a protected region of the Southeastern Algerian Desert. The tapes were flown to America where guitarist Nels Cline overdubbed electric guitars and New Orleans' famed Dirty Dozen Brass Band added horns, making Tassili a truly international collaboration.
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