With a new project born at the foot of Mount Etna, the album “Viremma” resonates with the guitars and voices of the Tuareg people, nomadic, ancient, and stateless, alongside those of Sicily, the island where millennial roots have always intertwined. The caravan, alias Terakaft (caravan in Tamasheq), has crossed the Mediterranean, just as their ancestors did before, but this time, centuries later, it has merged in an encounter with Cesare Basile in Sicily.
Cesare Basile (Sicily) is undoubtedly one of the most authoritative and innovative Italian authors of recent decades. Over the course of his three-decade career, he has managed to create a visceral, unique, and personal “Blues” language, using an archaic and profound Sicilian dialect to portray the degradation and humiliation inflicted by centralized power on his land and its inhabitants in the last centuries of history. Basile’s dearest themes revolve around stories of love and anarchy aimed at narrating the defeated and the miserable, the marginalized and the dispossessed, drawing inspiration from certain African music (especially Tinariwen and Terakaft, but also Boubacar Traorè and Tamikrest) and creating a common thread that connects the Sicilian language, the pain of the defeated and marginalized, and Africa, considered by all as the cradle of human civilization. Sicily, like the Mississippi Delta, and Basile, like a modern Skip James or Robert Johnson. All of this is reinforced by his indispensable rock attitude that embraces Sicilian folk music, blues, and, in his own way, punk.
His musical commitment is not separate from his political and civil commitment, clearly present in his lyrics, publicly manifested by participating in decisive activities such as the occupation of the Coppola Theater in Catania in 2011, still today a crucial gathering point for the city’s cultural fabric. Over the years, Cesare Basile has been the creator of 11 albums that have earned him credibility and prestige, leading him to win the Targa Tenco, the most prestigious and coveted Italian award for new author and singer-songwriter music, twice.
Terakaft (Mali), « ⵜⵔⴾⵊⵜ » meaning “the caravan” in Tamasheq, is a Tuareg blues group. They recorded their first album, “Bismilla, The Bko Sessions,” in four days at the legendary Bogolan Studios in Bamako, Mali. Following the release of the album, the band embarked on its first European tour. From there, a series of records culminated with “Alone (Tenerè, 2015),” establishing them as one of the most interesting entities in the international World Music scene. They are an absolute must-see live band. Their perfect blend of rhythmic guitars and deep bass tones cradle us like the undulating gait of a camel in the heart of the desert. The pulsating percussion strikes and completes the sound, taking us into the center of a primal and magical dance. However, it is important to emphasize that the songs of Terakaft and Tinariwen are engaged poetry, a rebellion against marginalization; they express nostalgia, the desire for freedom, dignity, and also the beauty of a people and a territory currently undergoing wars, violence, and devastation.