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

Zusha, Kavana (iTunes)

Zusha, Kavana (iTunes)

This Jewish trio from New York (and a number of guests) explore and interesting, if sometimes familiar, thread within Jewish music. But in their hands this is where tradition meets Downtown.... > Read more

Seckou Keita Quartet: Afro-Mandinka Soul (Arc/Elite)

Seckou Keita Quartet: Afro-Mandinka Soul (Arc/Elite)

The trickling, tingling and melodic sound of the kora -- a West African lute-like instrument -- is at the forefront of this warm, charming album which is soothing and seductive over its 10 glowing... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

Berlin: Another brick in the Wall

Berlin: Another brick in the Wall

The first thing you see when you come out of the Bernauerstrasse underground station in Berlin is the ruin: no houses down one side of the road, just overgrown and scrappy wasteland spotted with... > Read more