Tunng inhabit a place in UK music which is entirely their own, and full of contradictions. Their sound is instantly recognisable, but never seems to stand still. Their lyrics explore the dark crevices of life without ever losing hope. And their songs have roots deep in the past, but still crackle with experimental fervour. Tunng play a mesmerising mix of folky acoustics and busy electronica, overlaying electronic crackles, gorgeous harmonies, bewitching mantras and synthetic beats that are reminiscent of early Beta Band, The Wicker Man soundtrack and Four Tet.
The hypnotic rhythms and trance-like melodies of Tunng, the much-lauded purveyors of desert blues, are as intoxicating as they are unsettling. With galloping rhythms, desert wails and, of course, electric guitar - up to four guitars snarl, burr and howl to create the spacious interlocking desert blues groove that is this group's calling card. Eerie call-and-response vocals draw listeners in as well, conjuring up visions of a night around the campfire in the open desert air.
So it's no surprise that when the two bands came together earlier this year, to record a session for BBC Radio 3's Late Junction, the results were startling. They recorded a beautifully fluid set with a sense of space and ease; fragments of vocals, languages, riffs and melodies weaving together effortlessly.
This unique tour offers an opportunity to experience the collaboration live, a spellbinding prospect for fans of either band, and for anyone with open ears.
Tunng will be playing with a trio of Tinariwen's players.