Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Track of the Week

Terakaft – Taddaza

This week’s track was the highlight of an outstanding Terakaft concert in Dalston of November last year. Terakaft, in their own words, are “the perfect embodiment of all that is wild and free in desert blues today. They have taken the electric guitar and made it their own.” Terakaft was formed in 2001 between Kedhou ag Ossad, Liya ag Ablil, and Sanou ag Ahmed, with Kedhou previously being involved and remaining strongly associated with the desert blues band Tinariwen.

Terakaft are an excellent example of the ‘desert blues – a genre of music so closely associated with northern Mali and the southern/Saharan Maghreb region. Their music personifies their origin; the mystic, seemingly endless and hypnotic desert geography of north Africa. SoundCrash, the event organiser, summarises wonderfully:

“Terakaft are a genuine Tuareg desert rock band sculpted by the rolling sands of the Sahara: weathered, dusty, relentless, endless. Through droning guitars, pulsating rhythms, and powerful, mournful vocals, Terakaft – ‘Caravan’ in their mother tongue – tell tales of a nomadic people, of families displaced, of violence, loss, sadness and defiance.”

Terakaft are dedicated desert people through and through. Some band members have declined the opportunities to travel abroad with the band, preferring to remain in behind at home “in the desert”.

This week’s track is an example of Terakaft’s more melodic work. Known strongly for their rolling and hypnotic rhythm sections, ‘Taddaza’ is more catchy, emotive and adventurous. It certainly gets a crowd moving.



Terakaft – Taddaza

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