Monday, February 06, 2006

U-Cef: New release (shortly!)

U-Cef, the Moroccan musician/producer based in London, has a new release scheduled, called Halalwood. U-Cef's first full-length release, Halalium (2000, Apartment 22), is an amazing blending of various genres of traditional Moroccan music (including Gnawa) with hip-hop and drum 'n' bass. U-Cef is not of course unique in his efforts to put together Moroccan folk and Afro-Euro funk, but he is definitely one of the best practitioners. I got to hang out for him for a few hours in July 2003, in London's small but cool Moroccan district, and in the course of the afternoon he introduced me to Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) and Steve Hillage (producer of Rachid Taha). Both Albarn and Hillage appear on the new release, as do Natacha Atlas, Rachid Taha, and Justin Adams (who also guests on Halalium).

U-Cef played at the 2005 Essaouira Festival of Gnawa and World Music.

Check out U-Cef's new website. If you go here you can download a sample from Halalium. Halalium is highly recommended, so go get it so you'll be primed for Halalwood when it comes out.

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