Various: The Rough Guide to North African Cafe (Rough Guide/Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Tarik: La Foule
Various: The Rough Guide to North African Cafe (Rough Guide/Elite)

About two decades ago in a parody of Jon Landau's famous comment about Bruce Springsteen I wrote a world music column which started, "I have seen rock and roll's future, and it is North African".

By way of supporting evidence I noted rock people's love of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir and other such things, and firmly believed then -- as I do now -- that music from this region is hypnotic, exciting, sometimes incendiary (the politically-fuelled rai of Algerian exiles) and sometimes even rocks.

This typically exotic collection paints with a very broad brush: Cheb Balowski isn't a Polish Algerian but a group from Barcelona; El Tanbura are veterans of the Egyptian music scene; Madioko and Rafika are based in Paris and play a kind of Berber party music over the hook from the theme to Murder She Wrote; and Tarik is a Moroccan who brings his own North African spin to an Edith Piaf song.

So no, this isn't purist folk music but lively, cafe culture, North African pop.

It isn't the future of rock'n'roll, but it is a lot of exotic fun.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

The Rhythmagic Orchestra: The Rhythmagic Orchestra (Unfold)

The Rhythmagic Orchestra: The Rhythmagic Orchestra (Unfold)

The Rhythmagic Orchestra which plays Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz wouldn't perhaps qualify as world music for purists. They are mostly Londoners with an affection for the music of the greats of... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Real World/Southbound)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Real World/Southbound)

At last! When Elsewhere reviewed this thrilling album last year it was almost immediately deleted and people were demanding it, even more so after this group played at the Taranaki Womad where they... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

TOM RUSSELL INTERVIEWED: The stories he could tell

TOM RUSSELL INTERVIEWED: The stories he could tell

Julio Gonzalez was pumped up and crazy when he was tossed out of the Happy Land Social Club in the Bronx in mid-March 1990. He was 36, unemployed and had been in the States for only 10 years after... > Read more

PRINCESS CHELSEA INTERVIEWED (2015): She are very happy-ish

PRINCESS CHELSEA INTERVIEWED (2015): She are very happy-ish

Chelsea Nikkel – aka Princess Chelsea – sits at the table in her flat-cum-studio space (the latter rightly referred to as "the Ghetto") with a second-pour coffee and admits... > Read more