KHALED, LIBERTÉ (WRASSE RECORDS)
[DUNKELBUNT]
A NEW DAY; LAYA PROJECT REMIXED
ADDIS ACOUSTIC PROJECT
AFRO ROOTS WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL
AMADOU & MARIAM
ANTÓNIO ZAMBUJO
APHRODESIA
BALKANBEATS
BANCO DE GAIA
BOBAN I MARKO MARKOVIC ORKESTAR
BOBAN I MARKO MARKOVIC
BOY WITHOUT GOD
C.J. CHENIER
CARLOS GOGO GOMEZ
CHOBAN ELEKTRIK
CHOPTEETH
CHRISTIANE D
CHRISTINE VAINDIRLIS
CLARA PONTY
COPAL
CUCHATA
DAMJAN KRAJACIC
DANIEL CROS
DEBO & FENDIKA
DEL CASTILLO
DR JAYANTHI KUMARESH
EARTHRISE SOUNDSYSTEM
EGYPT NOIR
ELIN FURUBOTN
EMILY SMITH
FANFARE CIOCARLIA VS. BOBAN & MARKO MARKOVIC
FEUFOLLET
FIAF PRESENTS WORLD NOMADS MOROCCO: MUSIC
FOOTSTEPS IN AFRICA
GECKO TURNER
GENTICORUM
GEOFF BERNER
GIANMARIA TESTA
GODS ROBOTS
GUARCO
HUUN HUUR TU
INDIAN OCEAN
IRENE JACOB & FRANCIS JACOB
JANAKA SELEKTA
JANYA
JERRY LEAKE
JOAQUIN DIAZ
JOEL RUBIN
JORGE STRUNZ
JOSEF KOUMBAS
JOYFUL NOISE (I GRADE RECORDS)
JUST A BAND
KAMI THOMPSON
KARTICK & GOTAM
KHALED
KHING ZIN & SHWE SHWE KHAING
KITKA'S CAUCASIAN CONNECTIONS PROJECT PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS
KMANG KMANG
KOTTARASHKY AND THE RAIN DOGS
LA CHERGA
LAC LA BELLE
LAYA PROJECT
LENI STERN
LES TRIABOLIQUES
LISTEN FOR LIFE
LOBI TRAORÉ
LO'JO
LOKESH
MAGNIFICO
MAHALA RAI BANDA
MIDNITE
MOHAMMED ALIDU AND THE BIZUNG FAMILY
MR. SOMETHING SOMETHING
MY NAME IS KHAN
NAWAL
NAZARENES
NO STRANGER HERE (EARTHSYNC)
OCCIDENTAL BROTHERS ON TOUR
OCCIDENTAL GYPSY
OREKA TX
ORQUESTRA CONTEMPORÂNEA DE OLINDA
PABLO SANCHEZ
PEDRO MORAES
RAYA BRASS BAND
SALSA CELTICA
SAMITE
SARA BANLEIGH
SARAH AROESTE
SELAELO SELOTA
SHYE BEN-TZUR
SIA TOLNO
SIBIRI SAMAKE
SISTER FA
SLIDE TO FREEDOM II
SONIA BREX
SOSALA
SWEET ELECTRA
SYSTEMA SOLAR
TAGA SIDIBE
TAJ WEEKES
TARANA
TARUN NAYAR
TE VAKA
TELEPATH
THE MOUNTAIN MUSIC PROJECT
THE NATIVE AMERICA NORTH SHOWCASE
THE SPY FROM CAIRO
TITO GONZALEZ
TOUSSAINT
VARIOUS ARTISTS
VARIOUS ARTISTS
WATCHA CLAN
WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY SOUNDTRACK
WOMEXIMIZER
WOMEXIMIZER
ZDOB SI ZDUB
ZIETI
CD Review

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fRoots, CD Review >>


The statement, “if you have to buy one Khaled album, make it 1984’s Hada Raykoum” is surely incontestable. It may well be that the same can now be said for the next best thing to that North African classic.
Hada Raykoum — by the-then Cheb Khaled — was one of the early internationally released African albums that hit an unsuspecting western listening world between the eyes, upturning its preconceptions about Arabic pop music for good. No respecter of traditions, the self-styled Rai King of Algeria couched his raunchy urban Oran style in swirling keyboards and electric guitar as well as the more usual sweeping string arrangements, poly-rhythms and accordion used in this gritty, thrusting genre from the busiest and most eclectic port in Algeria.

Since then, Khaled’s output has been regular and consistent and usually contains fine moments, although often (especially in the ’90s) getting bogged down in ‘modern’ production values such as soulless studio pre-programmed drums, an accent on keyboards at the expense of other instrumentation, and over-production of Khaled’s magnificent, soaring voice. Recent albums have seen a welcome move back to a more organic approach, and in Liberté at last we have a release to compete with that early ground-breaking Triple Earth release. Produced by long-standing colleague Martin Meissonnier, this album shivers and it snaps in funky, organic arrangements, with a real-live sweeping and stabbing string section (recorded in Cairo) that infuses the album with drama and depth. With it comes the return of melodramatic intro tracks in which Khaled unwinds a prelude to the song proper in undulating, pleading vocal tones, with keyboards, accordion, oud twisting and turning higher, ever higher around his voice, before breaking into dense and funky grooves. The Egyptian orchestra strings are the ever-present backdrop, alongside a mixed melange comprising elements of blasting horns, high-voiced backing, chattering percussion, violin, oud, electric guitar, ney flute and electric bass, all of it applied in judicious style in the clear and spacious arrangements.

Uptempo pop-rai is the core, but interest is also maintained by a handful of ballads (all of which avoid tipping over into cheesy bombast for a change) and a few old favourites — including a loose, poppy update on Raikoum itself, which features Rita Marley and friends on backing vocals — and one or two delves into the hypnotic gnawa grooves of Morocco. This ia an album that can be recommended without reservation.
 07/16/09 >> go there

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