For 'Black Tenere', Belgian-Algerian-Nigerian band Kel Assouf was reduced to a power trio featuring Anana Ag Haroun on vocals and signature Gibson Flying V guitar, producer and keyboard genius Sofyann Ben Youssef on keyboards and Oliver Penu on drums. Anana leaves no doubt: "Black Tenere is a rock album. It's a choice to give a more original touch that builds up the identity of Kel Assouf and differentiates it from the other groups of Ishumar music. For me the music has to travel and it has to be open to other sounds so that everyone can listen to the messages it carries.", and Sofyann Ben Youssef adds: "I have been a rocker since my teens. I was trying to translate the Kel Assouf trio into a sound half way between its Nigerien roots and 70s rock, but also stoner rock, which is a music I played for many years. The rhythmic parts and synths show something from my electronic alter-ego AMMAR 808. I tried to tie together my disparate influences: electronic, ambient and rock. It was a natural thing to do after playing with Kel Assouf for all these years. The sound of the album is inspired from the musicians and their personalities, including myself.". The sturdy opening track 'Fransa', in which Ag Haroun refers to the battle the Tuareg, or Kel Tamasheq as they prefer to call themselves, waged against the former French colonial rulers: "'Black Tenere' talks about the Tamashek tragedy, its history since colonization until today, and the geopolitics that unfolds in the desert for its natural resources.". Of course, the love and nostalgia for nomadic desert life, a tradition disappearing at a fast pace, also has its place in the track list, like in the meditative almost psychedelic 'Taddout': "I follow the traces of antelopes, I live in the desert and its storms, my favorite flower is that of the acacia. It's called Tabsit. Its perfume is that of freedom and loneliness, far from the tumult of city life.". For the recording of 'Black Tenere', Kel Assouf this time opted for the Stureparken Studio in Stockholm. Sofyann Ben Youssef explains why: "Stureparken is a studio owned by musicians, one of them is a friend and fellow producer. The thing that is special about the studio is that it has a huge collection of keyboards, synths, guitars, basses and drums as well. All of them are vintage instruments, with some being rarer than others. The idea was to have more choices of good or weird sounding instruments. We were trying to find some special sounds and kept experimenting around that idea.". Buckle up for a solid hunk of desert energy!