You don’t have to tell Imarhan how much they sound like Tinariwen. They’re well aware, and the gracious comparison is nice, but it’s not entirely accurate.
The Southern-Algerian group’s self-titled debut, which came out back in April, is rooted in the Tuareg desert blues that has defined an entire region’s sound, but Imarhan is more interested in bringing more outside influences into their music, including jazz melodies, funky pan-African rhythms, and Western rock riffs.
“Compared to other bands, as the new generation, we have been adding more modern elements that could come from rock or funk or any other kind of influences that will transcend the Tuareg music,” Imarhan frontman Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane, who goes by Sadam, tells The Quietus. “We make music for the younger generation. And you can see that in our clothes. We don’t wear traditional clothes. We wear the clothes we wear in Tamanrasset every day. So the music and the style represent our generation.”
Most recently, Imarhan shared a remix of the title track by Berlin-based DJ and producer MOSCOMAN, which you can listen to here. The remix, as well as the album, is worth your time.