Terakaft is a group of Tuareg guitarists, in the same vein as Tinariwen. There’s nothing astonishing about the similarity, if you consider that Terakaft was founded by Kedou and is now led by Diara, both of whom were formative members of Tinariwen. Kedou,a celebrity in his own land thanks to his part in the history of the rebellion and also to his songs, founded Terakaft in 2001 with a very young Sanou. Later, they teamed up with Diara, one of the more exciting guitarist of Tinariwen, who is also Sanou’s uncle. Diara was also the brother of Intiyeden, who died in 1994, and who was also a co-founder of Tinariwen with Ibrahim Abaraybone. After performing on Terakaft’s first two albums (Bismilla in 2007 and Akh Issudar in 2008), Kedou has left the band, which is now led by Diara and supported by three young musicians: Sanou (guitars, vocals), Abdallah (bass, guitars, vocals) and Mahamad (percussions, vocals). Liya Ag Ablil (aka Diara): guitars, vocals Diara, a Tinariwen guitarist at its formation in 1982, is the real master of rythm guitar in the band. His style is more “rock’n’roll” than the others and his songs are sometimes real pop songs with lyrics talking about madness and freedom. Like others from Tinariwen, he went to Lybia to train in the Khadafi camps in the early 80’s. Ten years afterwards, he took part in the two first African albums of Tinariwen (Abidjan in 1992 and Bamako in 1993) but missed the Tinariwen international “rendez-vous” in 2001. Diara joined Terakaft in January 2007. He is today the leader of the band, with his two nephews who were taught the guitar by him. Diara is 49 years old. He is both wise and wild. A deep soul in a rythm guitar.
Sanou Ag Ahmed: guitars, bass, vocals Self taught in the pure “Ishumar” tradition, Sanou is an outstanding guitarist. His uncles are Diara and Intiyeden, co-founders of Tinariwen. Sanou began to play the guitar when he was really young, starting in Tamanghasset where he was a refugee with other young Tuaregs, Eyadou and Elaga (from Tinariwen) and others. Whilst in his late teens, Kedou founded Terakaft with him in 2001. Sanou plays most of Intiyeden’s repertoire. His own songs are often love songs. His guitars are lightning, bringing to the band an extraordinary harmony. Sanou is now 28 years old and gives hope to the future of desert blues.
Abdallah Ag Ahmed: guitars, bass, vocals Abdallah is the young brother of Sanou, who gave him his first guitar when he was a young boy. They both remained in Tamanghrasset, playing the guitar together with Eyadou and Elaga, two younger members of Tinariwen. Now aged 27, he is coming out of the shadows with his own songs, revealing a warm voice to support the band after the departure of Kedou in December 2008. He is now ready to rock the world beside his old friends.
Mahamad Moha (aka Tohandy): percussions Like Sanou and Abdalla, Mahamad is a typical “Ishumar”, a young Tuareg with no job and no future. He played with Taflist, a theater group, as a tambourist between 2001 and 2004, and occasionally with Tinariwen, Tamikrest and Terakaft, in Kidal or Tessalit. Diara, Sanou and Abdalla have chosen him to follow them with Terakaft. Mahamad plays all percussion: can, callebass, tindé - everything except djembé which is not commonly used in the Sahara. He is 24 years old.
Why that would be a pipe wrench. You see, we were working on a sound collage last month and I wanted to add a hammer for some texture. After searching the studio high and low, all we could find was this pipe wrench.
It has served as a reminder to not force anything while creating. If things aren't going as planned, roll with it.Who knows what could happen.....Turned out to be a perfect addition to the collage that already had a bowed bass, bowed gamelan and power drill driving drywall screws into knotty pine.
Soon, these sounds will be driving into your head.
Its time to get out of our heads for a minute and play a show. We're excited to share some new material with you and to perform live again. Then its back to the studio to hash out the last details before we start mixing the new album.
Happy to announce our first weekend of recording with engineer Jeffery Mcnulty and crew went well. These new songs are sounding great and they're not even mixed yet! With most sessions, not everything goes to plan. We blew some tubes and there were a couple computer mishaps but, overall we got a lot accomplished. Plus, we now know what kind of gear we really want! It will be a while until we share these new songs with you. In the meantime, we'll keep you up to date with pictures of our progress a long the way.