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Old 08-16-2010, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raï: the Search for Cheb

Hey, I'm looking for some new North African and Middle Eastern music in the Raï vein. On the one hand, I really dig the more traditional, acoustic stuff, however modern. On the other hand, I love how Natacha Atlas has embraced modern music technologies and techniques. The middle ground, though, seems stuck in 1988, with the synth hand claps and brass.

So, if I like these:

Cheb Mami (What a voice!)
Cheb Khaled (If you don't like Khaled, you probably don't like the entire genre —*he's sort of central)
Abdou (I've only heard a little and want more)
Natacha Atlas (because she and her fellow musicians really know their medium)
Cheb Anouar (a favorite because the voices and acoustics are more powerful than the synths)
Abdel Ali Slimani (Everything I like about the genre!)
Rachid Taha (What's not to like about punk Algerian/French awesome rock? Rock Al Casbah!)

... and I don't like these:
Cheba Zahouania
Cheb Khaled when he gets excited about synth saxes
Ofra Haza (I thought there was some that I liked, but I can only find stuff that's really overproduced and stretching for a nonexistent American audience)

...what else will I like?

Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I feel Rachid Taha is the best, but maybe you can check out Faudel's earlier works, before he got too French and pro-Sarkozi:




If I remember any more names, I'll be posting them.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Raï is one of those styles of music I've heard a bit about from time to time but never known where to start with. I'll have to check out some of those artists mentioned in the OP.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
Raï is one of those styles of music I've heard a bit about from time to time but never known where to start with. I'll have to check out some of those artists mentioned in the OP.
You should check this, it is The Raï Classic, featuring the greats: Rachid Taha, Cheb Khaled and Faudel:



And my ultimate favourite:


Enjoy.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Man, that first Faudel video is creeeepy.

I've got recordings of both the last two videos there, but I don't have any Faudel except one track on a compilation.

You know what's great about Taha? He's not enamored with modern production any more than he is with traditional instruments. He's just really fluent with them all.

Janszoon, the history of Raï is really neat. It's a lot like the history of Blues and Rock.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I remember checking out the Cheikha Rimitti album which features Flea and Robert Fripp, and it was interesting to say the least

I think I'll explore some more of the genre, because I'm not sure that album was entirely representative of Raï.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd guess that it isn't. But she's pretty intense, and you just introduced me to her! Thanks!
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