Vox DA5: know any good dunes?

Good amps are hard to come by in the desert (Too true - Ed). So Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, lead guitarist with Tinariwen, who both records and lives in the Sahara, depends on his Vox DA5 when the band go out and about among the dunes. Strapped onto the back of the nearest available camel, the DA5´s portability makes it the ideal desert amp - and because it runs on batteries there is no problem with the electricity supply; making it ideal for the nomadic lifestyle of this now internationally well known band.

Lead guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is also keen on his AC30, which the band used on their latest album, “I do like Vox. They´re solid and have a very honest rock sound, which is what I´m after for my music. It´s important for our music not to sound too sweet, and the Vox helps with that. The rhythm guitars were fed through a Vox [AC30] on Imidiwan to get that grungy, churning sound.”

Tinariwen have paid their dues. Formed in 1982 by a group of Mali musicians seeking respite from the brutal regime of the government, they used home-made guitars to fuse African and Western influences, and forged a reputation that was too big even for the Sahara desert to contain. By the time of 2007´s Aman Iman album, Tinariwen was on the lips of legends from Robert Plant to Chris Martin, on stages from Glastonbury to Coachella, and in the record collections of people who previously thought ‘world music´ was a dirty word. With the Vox-powered fourth album Imidiwan: Companions storming the charts, it looks as though they still have along way to go.

For more full information on the DA5 and the full range of Vox amps, logon onto www.voxamps.com

Simon Bradley is a guitar and especially rock guitar expert who worked for Guitarist magazine and has in the past contributed to world-leading music and guitar titles like MusicRadar (obviously), Guitarist, Guitar World and Louder. What he doesn't know about Brian May's playing and, especially, the Red Special, isn't worth knowing.