Friday, October 17, 2014

Recommended music: mahraganat and North African vinyl

1. Another very fine radio show from the estimable Toukadime. Broadcast #18. Vintage North African tunes. (But no playlist yet: come on, pals!). And to show how eclectic their tastes are, they conclude the show with Herbie Mann's "Caravan"! Don't miss this show.

Added Oct. 20, 2014: Here's the playlist:

Tazi Boukhari & Aouicha: Comment Faire?
Guerouabi: El Barah
Mohamed Chemoum: JSK
Mohamed Jerrari: Ya Mariam
Mohamed Jerrari: El Karrita
Mohamed Bergam: Farah El Islam
Bouchaib Bidaoui: Khoutna Yal Islam
Albert Suissa: Dar El Baida
Haja Mina el Gharbaouia & Haja Khadouj Bent Barek, Marechal Kibou: Jini Wlanjik
Albert Suissa: Ya Rabi Tsmeh Fli Daj
Mustapha Nainia - Khouya Bouya

2. The latest Middle Eastern and North African playlist from The Guardian's music blog, by John Doran. Souad Abdallah (Iraq), Maurice Louca (Egypt), Fayçal Azizi (Morocco) -- all interesting, well worth a listen and pursuing further. But what really struck me was the live track from E.E.K. feat. Islam Chipsy -- in concert in London on October 12. This is mad mad mahraganat music, and I've about Islam Chipsy in the past. (Here, for instance, though one of the vids has vanished.) Check out what Doran has to say about them, the 'preternaturally talented keyboard player Islam Chipsy, flanked by drummers Khaled Mando and Islam Tata,' who have been driving crowds in Bristol, London and Newcastle wild. "In Cairo, the three-piece are usually hired to play large outdoor wedding celebrations and their sound has developed in tandem with a need to kickstart parties while often contending with battered old PA systems. Now, through playing indoors through really powerful rigs, their sound has morphed into something that is bordering on overwhelming. The tightly syncopated rhythmical assault is in a lot of ways analogous to carnival or marching musical forms such as soca, New Orleans second-line drumming, dancehall and calypso. However, these beats are played at hyperspeed by two drummers who can switch styles and tempos without dropping a beat, adept at providing a rigid framework for a virtuoso keyboard player whose individual technique includes firing out bewilderingly fast blasts of tone clusters deployed by punching, slapping and karate-chopping his keyboard at such a frightening speed that his hands become a blur of movement. A truly unique experience."

And now: check out the vid, and see whether Doran's enthusiasm isn't warranted.

3. John Doran also has a piece in Vice about the Cairo Liberation Front, a Dutch trio who make up a dance party unit that plays mahraganat. The article title describes what they do as "Wedding Dance Rave," which is certainly as good a synonym for mahraganat as the other synonyms in use, techno shaabi and electro shaabi. There's a mixtape of new (at least I guess new) mahraganat here as well, so download, listen, enjoy, start your own dance party unit if you dare.

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