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South Moroccan Motor Berber

Argan

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Album Review

An improvement over their previous album Berberism. Although this too mixes and matches some traditional Moroccan music (particularly as heard in Hassan Arouhal's banjo and melismatic lead vocals) with Western/rock sampling and programming, the sound is gutsier, due mostly to the dirty electric rock guitars of Fido K. and Larbi Kanssab. The 13 songs run together as an uninterrupted suite of sorts, and there are some swooping electronic and dub-like effects that zig and zag as if they are instruments in their own right. It is not easy to use programming, sampling, and electronics with spontaneity in a rock/world fusion setting — at least, such spontaneity is not often attempted — but, for the most part, Argan succeed in doing so here. It's not as exhilarating as the best efforts in that field from the most famous Moroccan act on Barbarity (Aisha Kandisha's Jarring Effects), but at its best, it's reminiscent of them.

Biography

Formed: 1996

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s

One of several Moroccan groups to record for the Swiss Barbarity label, which issues product centering around the vision articulated by another Moroccan outfit, Aisha Kandisha's Jarring Effects. A few AKJE principals, in fact, have secondary roles on Argan's first internationally distributed album, issued in 1996. Mixing electronic programming with banjo, darbukka, violin, and ney, the group draw from rai, Western dance music, and dub. It's not, however, as imaginative or risk-taking as some other...
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South Moroccan Motor Berber, Argan
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