The musical style from the Sahara Desert region commonly called desert blues (the Tamasheq locals themselves simply call it la guitare) has been around long enough now to have sub-genres and trends. Young acts like Bombino and Tamikrest are making a new sound, one more immediately accessible to northern ears, and more power to them. Terakaft, on their fifth album, are exponents of what I think of as classic desert blues: call-and-response vocals, stinging guitars so close in the mix that you can hear fingers squeak on strings, thudding hand drums propelling the songs forward. This sound hearkens back to Tinariwen’s 2001 first-world debut The Radio Tisdas Sessions, produced by Justin Adams (Robert Plant’s Sensational Space Shifters) who has the same assignment here. Terakaft shares members with Tinariwen and over the years it has functioned as a kind of harder rocking version of their more famous colleagues. That’s an apt description here, especially on tracks 1, 2, 3 and 7 which are as powerful and compelling as any songs you’ll hear in this genre. This, folks, is the real deal.