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Diwan

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Album Review

The sophomore release from Algerian singer Rachid Taha. This is a stunning album, as he moves through straightforward rai to blues, rock, and the full spectrum of worldbeat. The album starts out with a song about exile from home, followed by a musical history of rai, covering all of the basic steps in the development of Taha's chosen base-style. An Egyptian film song from the great Farid El Atrache continues the barrage of bouncing Middle Eastern and North African sounds. A more modern version of the ay-ay genre ensues, with fuzzed guitars looped throughout. Some urban Algerian blues and a bit of chaabi follow, on the topics of love and love lost. The album finishes with a stretch of slightly more serious songs, with a number based on the Algerian war for independence and the torture endured by its prisoners, a political song from a Moroccan group, a basic rai number in French pidgin, and a song from the frustrated youth of Algeria. This is something of a North African tour-de-force, as Taha moves from one style to another, always partially based in the rai tradition, but always expanding to other styles in the process. The songs can be backed by a simple flute, or by a group of rock guitars. Either way, the works are held together by the overriding compositions that Taha is dealing from. It's a great album for those that are already knowledgeable in rai for its new directions, and a nice album for newcomers as it displays the full breadth in a single disc.

Customer Reviews

Ear enticing blend

Introduced to Taha from the sound track for Black Hawk Down, a curiosity for the Eastern/Western fusion led me on a seach for somthing more extened than the individual tracks on the Soundtrack album. This album has satiated and stimulated a desire for substantial and alternative rock/rai sounds. I definitely recommend this album for anyone looking to expand their musical horizons or for anyone looking for a striking juxtaposition to purely producer based western sounds. This is musical artistry with a good driving beat.

No drugs for Rachid.

Rachid Taha suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy that affects one side of his body. He's not using any mind altering drugs so cut him some slack, please. This man can sing and is an enormous talent and gift.

Tawher’s Arabian Sonatas and Symphonies Sounds Supper Cool

I love this Album; …. but I still like Tawher’s voice, very romantic very explosive new arabic music from Tawher that is out of this world

Biography

Born: September 18, 1958 in Oran, Algeria

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Algerian singer/songwriter Rachid Taha became an iconic revolutionary figure in his adopted French homeland due to his eclectic blend of native rai and chaabi influences, raw punk energy, and rebellious rock & roll attitude. Born in Sig, Mascara Province in Algeria in 1958, Taha emigrated to France with his family at the age of ten. While working in a heating factory in the '70s, he founded his own nightclub, Les Refoules, which played mash-ups of Arabic pop hits over tracks by the likes of Led Zeppelin...
Full Bio
Diwan, Rachid Taha
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