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Rachid Taha

September 15, 2006

Made In Medina
Barclay Records

I don’t often find good music at the Goodwill (a chain of charity-run thrift shops here in the colonies), but did this afternoon.
It’s Rachid Taha’s Made in Medina, a great techno-Raï-Arabic fusion album. I have been keeping an eye out for Taha’s stuff since hearing bits of him on the BBC and after his concerts with Brian Eno. Taha has a rich, husky voice and he sounds great in this beat heavy mix, which was produced and arranged by none other than Steve Hillage. Some of the standout tracks (so far – i just got it and haven’t stopped listening to it since) are Barra Barra, Qalantiqa and Hey Anta.
Here’s a bit from Wikipedia on him:

Rachid Taha (born 1958 in Oran, Algeria) is a French-Algerian musician. His music is influenced by many different styles such as raï, techno, rock and punk. Based in Paris, France where he began his solo career after his beginnings as the leader of the French rock band “Carte de Séjour”, he is the only rocker singing in Arabic. Politically-engaged, he has always stood up to defend democracy, tolerance and altruism against racism, communitarism and discrimination.

So far I really like Taha’s music and hope to run into more soon. I keep playing his version of The Clash‘s Rock the Casbah and understand that he performed it live with Eno and Mike Jones recently. There is a DVD available of the Stop the War concert that they all did recently (along with Imogene Heap, among others).

Made in Medina

Bonus:
Rachid Taha – Rock El Casbah (mp3)

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