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

Kamel El Harrachi: Ghana Fenou (Mosaic/Ode)

Kamel El Harrachi: Ghana Fenou (Mosaic/Ode)

By coincidence Elsewhere here acknowledges the son of another music master in the same week as we pick up the album by Jakob Dylan. Kamel El Harrachi is the Paris-based son of the late oud... > Read more

Toufic Farroukh: Tootya (Ode)

Toufic Farroukh: Tootya (Ode)

World music purists will moan that there is very little "authentic" about this album by Lebanese saxophonist Farroukh and they may well be right: the sessions in Paris doubtless account... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF  . . . (2014): Kiss pokes tongue at honour? No!

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF . . . (2014): Kiss pokes tongue at honour? No!

Trust Gene Simmons of Kiss to inject some controversy into the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today (April 10, US time). While so many others are happy to take the accolade,... > Read more

Pere Ubu, The Modern Dance (1978)

Pere Ubu, The Modern Dance (1978)

It has become fashionable lately to speak of “post-rock” and cite bands such as Tortoise, Sigur Ros and Explosions in the Sky as being groups which use the tools of rock, but create... > Read more