PLAYLIST: Moroccan Desert Rock Music

Yidir, born and raised in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, taught himself a number of instruments and used to play actively as a bassist and drummer in the band Imodda. Bands all over North Africa, mainly Tinariwen, Bombino and lately Imarhan inspired with their desert rock music the music style of the band & himself as a musician the most.

Yidir sitting playing Moroccan string instrument

Tinariwen was one the first Tuareg-Bands creating the so called ‘Desert Rock’ or ‘Desert Blues’ in the 80ies. They were the first band in North Africa mixing traditional and typical music of the Berbers of the Desert with modern electric guitars and created an unprecedented kind of music. Through music they started to fight for the recognition and better living conditions of the suppressed Berber tribes in North Africa.

Imodda band playing Desert Rock in the Sahara Desert

Bombino is called the Nigerian Jimi Hendrix – playing the guitar, the most important music instrument for the Tuareg, unlike anyone else. He promoted exemplary the interest for the Tuareg culture worldwide. Bombino is making a plea in his songs for community, self respect and love, making people stand up for their rights peacefully. And always does so himself as a good example.

Imodda band playing Desert Rock Music around a bonfire

Imarhan is going the next step in Desert Rock: Opening up for different, for western music styles as a new wave of Tuareg Music, being complex, emotional, rhythmical, poetic and yet quite urban. Imarhan’s music reflects on their cultural and generational backgrounds. Dry guitar riffs and pan-African rhythms draw on traditional Tuareg music, African ballads and most recently on the modern pop, funk and rock.

PLAYLIST and TRACKLIST: Best of Desert Rock / Desert Blues

1) Tinariwen – Chabiba
2) Tinariwen – Hayati
3) Bombino – Imuhar
4) Bombino – Inar
5) Imarhan – Imarhan
6) Imarhan – Tarha Tadegh
7) Imarhan – Assossamagh
8) Toumast – Ami
9) Tamikrest – Dihad Tedoun Iran
10) Diabel Cissokho – Kéléleléonly

© All photos via Yidir Alla



Yidir Alla

Yidir Alla

Yidir grew up in Merzouga, one of the gateways to the Moroccan Sahara Desert. He has always found the desert’s sheer vastness, its peace and tranquility most inspiring. He was touring nationally some years with his band Imodda before taking care of organizational affaires at yoga travel agency NOSADE.


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