From Algeria’s youth music of dissent – Rai, to the hypnotic sounds of Egyptian Raks Shaki (belly-dance) this Rough Guide introduces the music of North Africa, encompassing its rich diversity of dance and classical styles.
As soon as the punchy bass of Moroccan rai master Cheb Kader hits the speakers you know this Rough Guide will pull no punches. The release starts with rai - the Algerian phenomenon of vociferous youth spread to the world by such rai stars as the legendary Cheb Khaled (here working with Miloud), the superb vocalist Cheb Mami, and one of the original rai pioneers Chaba Fadela (singing here with her husband Cheb Sahraoui).
As well as rai the release focuses on music from Sudan, featuring the tragic love song that led to a fashion craze ‘Tahrimni Minnak’ by Abdel Aziz El Mubarak and his ten-piece band, and the sonorous laid-back tones of ‘Dannab’ by the legendary Abdel Karim El Kabli.
The thriving Egyptian music scene is showcased by the diverse styles of the Drummers of the Nile featuring Mahmoud Fadl, the big band sound of the incredible Salamat with an old Cario film tune ‘Mambo El Soudani’, and a sumptious Raks Sharki (belly-dancing) track under the guidance of Hossam Shaker. Ali Hassan Kuban, the godfather of Nubian music adds jazz to his urban sound in this lively exposition of his Nubian roots.
Finally to Morocco, where the multi-instrumentalist Hassan Erraji uses the oud (Arabic lute) to stunning effect with driving rhythms that contrast with the more classical, horn interspersed, sounds of Adnan Sefiani and L’Orchestre de Sale.
The kaleidoscope of music from North Africa is highlighted on the new Rough Guide, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the great music of the region.