Terakaft

SXSW showcase reviews

Terakaft
by Jana Birchum

Terakaft

Speakeasy, Friday, March 15

Not unexpectedly, some of the members of Malian band Terakaft, which means caravan in their native language Tamasheq, had visa problems and weren't able to make it into the United States. The two lead forces behind the group, guitarists/vocalists Samou Ag Ahmed and Liya Ag Ablil, arrived in Austin, however, and were aided live by their bus driver cum bass player Manny Flores. Dressed in traditional black garb that only exposed their hands and faces, Terakaft performed what they refer to as desert rock and blues, a reflection of the stark atmosphere of their Sahara desert homeland. An offshoot of the better known Tinariwen, the trio laid out five trance grooves, embodied by pulsing bass, almost click-track precise rhythm guitar, single-note guitar solos, and vocal harmonies that seemed imploring for something better than desert life. Truthfully, the lyrical content was a barrier to enjoying this music. One song found the lead duo bouncing and smiling as if to urge the crowd toward a happy space without much success. Still, what was offered was close to what Terakaft sounds like on record, minus the heartbeat percussion that makes their sound intricate.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Shinyribs
I Got Your Medicine (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 24, 2017

Texas Platters
Gurf Morlix
The Soul & The Heal (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Feb. 24, 2017

More by Jim Caligiuri
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

SXSW Panel: Do Music Journalists Matter Anymore?
SXSW Panel: Do Music Journalists Matter Anymore?
Not even journalists were interested in finding out

March 17, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)