Saturday 2 July 2022
Desert blues’ Imarhan are ready to lead new generations with their sound

For 20 years, the Tuareg culture and music has fascinated the world.

Their quasi-sacred poetic songs have inspired western songwriters like José Gonzales or Kurt Vile, while the virtuosity of their guitar playing fascinates guitar heroes like Jimmy Page, and finally the spirituality and meditative elements impress electronic music producers like Four Tet.

Imarhan have long been anointed as official heirs to Tinariwen’s desert blues throne.

Imarhan have become an emblem of the new Tuareg generation, breathing a new wind into the genre.

The quintet has recently built their own studio in the city of Tamanrasset in Algeria’s Saharan south. And thus, Imarhan have become the spokesmen of the young Tuareg lost generation forgotten by the governments of the area.

With their third and latest album Aboogi (2022), Imarhan looks into the rites and ancestry of the Tuaregs. While staying true to traditional arrangements and rhythms, they have fashioned a new iteration of Tuareg music by injecting some seriously funky chops and a good dose of psychedelia into the album. At the same time, they have welcomed a wide range of cameos, for instance Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni of Tinariwen, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals and Sudanese singer and oud player Sulafa Elyas.

As good as Imarhan are in the studio, it's live performances where the band truly excel. The guitar riffs are like sparks, and the collective range of instruments (they have two percussionists to ensure great polyrhythms) seem to weave together into one amazing whole.

Come feel the desert dust when Imarhan turn on the amps at Roskilde Festival 2022.