Some of what was said about our new album Tantabara:

“This music is astounding on a number of levels, though. The dense poly-pulsation with rapid triplet subdivisions to the general thrust of many of the songs, with overlaid four-beat patterns -allows for the music to be felt in multiple fashions, setting up the kind of kinetic body push that compels dance as a means of parsing out the differing drives within the music. The limbs can sometimes make better sense of it than the mind…They’re bold, cutting-edge and traditional. The general atmosphere is ecstatic, bordering on frenetic.”Relix

“Tal National follow their own star… the sound that they have perfected with Chicago engineer Jamie Carter is an unstoppable juggernaut… they pitch their new album at a level of intensity which exceeds even their previous offerings… The drumming is a pummelling clattering hailstorm of toms and snares, thrashed out at heart attack tempos. It’s all-consuming, exhilarating and fearfully hard playing, and as a truly disorienting backdrop to a virtuoso band, it pushes Tal National’s music into the realm of the unique.” – WIRE

“Entente” is busy in the best way, engaging the body as much as the brain; its frantic danceability is matched only by the desire to pick apart its complex arrangement and, above all, to bask in its pure joy.”Pitchfork

“Tal National’s new record is both a finely crafted essay in the ‘classical’ African popular music tradition and an incredibly giving document that could open doors to a bigger story…Tracks like ‘Entente’ and ‘Pama’ are outstanding inner journeys that wend their way through the listener’s mind, pointing to as-yet-unknown psychic or high magicke possibilities. Tal National create sonic and psychic pathways, making music that clashes and rubs up against other places, real or imagined.”The Quietus

“Tal National are still a big band, in the tradition of African popular music. The tribe create and travel as one community, but this type of lineup, combined with a rock energy and sound, ups the ante for action that far surpasses the traditional power already existing in large groove outfits…This release has the same charge as the early entries of Ali Hassan Kuban or Konono No. 1, both who set the bar for raw energy.”Exclaim!

“Tal National play rollicking, dizzying, high-octane grooves with the joie de vivre of afrobeat and highlife, but have a hard-rocking polyrhythmic tumble reminiscent of experimental rock bands like Battles, Horse Lords and Tortoise. Their third album is their fiercest yet, full of shouts and cries and ripping desert-blues guitar solos.” – Rolling Stone

“They emit an infectious energy and blazing musicianship, combining elements of desert and songhai blues, highlife, and Afrobeat, which they deliver with an almost punk-like ferocity…the group’s unity remains wholly apparent, as they continue to cut their own distinctive musical path on this excellent release.”

Tantabara press links:


Some of what was said about Zoy Zoy:

“The music is colorful and bright and dizzying. It recalls the energy and wall-of-sound quality of Konono No 1, except more frenzied and texturally varied… Tal National’s ability to weave together all these thematic and musical elements with unflagging speed and energy is breathtaking.”Pitchfork

“the band combines rapid-fire guitars and hypnotic percussion over rolling 12/8 rhythms… The tracks might be faster and lighter in texture than desert blues, but they are no less intense.”Rhythms

“They are the living embodiment of dizzying swing, masters of tempo control, with a combustible energy that must be electrifying live. Irrepressible in the face of Islamist denouncements of secular music, Tal National place Niger firmly on the international musical map… They have worked themselves into a finely-tuned machine of skill, energy and real intensity…”fRoots

“a band from the deserts of Niger that manages to come up with a refreshingly different sound… A clattering, urgent melting pot of considerable rhythmic complexity… raw and original.” – Songlines

“The music turns in wild and unexpected directions as psychedelic hues emerge and patterns form that may not have previously seemed possible… Despite the chaos of the incredible arrangements the group’s discipline never shows signs of losing focus… Tal National’s lineup may feature a traditional rock set up of guitar, bass and drums, but their intensity while keeping a relatively clean sound is quite unlike anything else. Distilling many popular African music styles, while never replicating any – it sounds purely like Tal National, and throughout Zoy Zoy their sound leaves no room to contemplate anything else once it sucks you in… Zoy Zoy really is top.”The Quietus

“ it’s downright miraculous how the songs mesh: guitar licks, hopscotching bass lines, cymbal offbeats and talking drums all land with microscopic precision and can reconfigure in an instant”The New York Times

“an astonishing fusion of fresh ideas…” – Clash

“delirious afro guitar works… fans of Tinariwen will find plenty to love…” – Uncut

“It’s the sound of a group without obvious peer – one has to look back at the golden age of the west African guitar bands to find this level of complexity executed with such brazen confidence and ability”Wire

“Tal National continue to widen their global appeal with their blistering new album…built on a combination of relentless, loud guitars and stunning rhythmical complexity… an album rich in personality and sparkling colour”Future Music

“This is pretty damn special. Brimming with rawness, energy and pure musicianship, it’s well worth seeking out.” – DJ

“there’s no way you won’t dance to this one” – NPR


Press links for Kaani:

New York Times Best of 2013 List

NPR “All Things Considered” Album Review

Interview on Afropop Worldwide

Interview on The Quietus

PopMatters Album Review

WBEZ In-studio performance

Chicago Reader interview the Tal National engineer.