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

Womad Artist 2014: James Lindsay of Braebach

Womad Artist 2014: James Lindsay of Braebach

Double bassist James Lindsay of Scotland's Breabach says what they will be delivering at the forthcoming Womad in Taranaki is quite simple: “Expect a varied and exciting showcase of... > Read more

Barbara Carlotti: Les Lys Brises (4AD)

Barbara Carlotti: Les Lys Brises (4AD)

Sounding somewhere between a wide awake Claudine Longet (who was so whispery you often wondered if she was singing or snoozing) and the cool, indifferent tone of Nico, this 32-year old Parisian... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: A-Kel of Tomorrow People

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: A-Kel of Tomorrow People

They began life as a studio project . . . but the Wellington collective that is Tomorrow People quickly became a proper band, and one which took their name from the Ziggy Marley song and are... > Read more

SOUNDTRACKS: SONG THAT DEFINED HISTORY; SPACE RACE: A tele-doco series on Prime

SOUNDTRACKS: SONG THAT DEFINED HISTORY; SPACE RACE: A tele-doco series on Prime

From this distance it's hard to explain to people, young people in particular, how engaged many people around the world were with the space race between the Russians and the USA in the Sixties.... > Read more