Tinariwen: Emmaar

Transplant a group of veteran Saharan guitar slingers to a different desert (SoCal's Mojave, specifically the indie depot of Joshua Tree) and add some American guests – rock guitarists Josh Klinghoffer and Matt Sweeney, poet-MC Saul Williams and more. What do you get? Impressively, an undiluted Tinariwen LP that's all circular Afro-Berber riffs, hypnotic hand claps, sun, sky and sand. Unlike the excellent, largely acoustic 2011 set Tassili, the guitars here are mainly electrified, with generous reverb. But the themes persist: war, exile, the desert and the mirage of love. With Tinariwen's members effectively refugees thanks to regional conflicts back home in North Africa, their blues are as deep as ever.