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Terakaft Alone

Terakaft's new project Alone, their fifth full-length, finds the Mali band further refining their Saharan Tuareg sound across nine tracks. The political strife occurring in their homeland is reflected by the sense of urgency permeating these songs. While the band is an offshoot of the legendary Tinariwen, Terakaft have been able to carve out its distinctive identity with a stripped-down sound.

Leaning on producer Justin Adams, Terakaft build on old-style melodies with proficiency on electric and bass guitars. Mastery of Tuareg guitar music — alternatively known as "desert rock" — resonates in emotionally charged tracks like Anabayou" and "Oulhin Asnin." The celebratory "Wahouche Natareh" maintains a quiet hopefulness — it's a bluesy, psychedelic number that is alone worth the price of admission. Overall, the album's balance of old and modern sounds feels right. (Out Here)