Khaled Casts Off Shackles:
Acoustic Strings, Algerian Gnawa, and More on Liberté
Khaled's new album, Liberté, could not be more aptly named. Casting off the shackles of record company formatting, the Rai king has freed that extraordinary voice from beneath layers of synthesisers. Liberté, recorded with producer Martin Meissonnier, reveals the full extent of Khaled's incredible vocals Khaled digs deep into the past on his new album, bringing a handful of his old songs to light including the wonderful Raïkoum. But the outstanding feature of this new album is the reinstatement of the "intro", a scene-setting prelude on which the singer's carefully modulated voice extrapolates on the theme of each song.
A range of instruments including accordion, gumbri, ney flute, the guellal, and soaring Egyptian strings give Liberté a strong acoustic feel. Khaled takes musical liberties on this new album, too, straying beyond Rai and the city of Oran and voyaging towards Béchar and the hypnotic trance rhythms of the south as well as diwan (traditional Algerian Gnawa music boosted by Meissonnier's electronic bass) and creates his own fusion sound, mixing African Rai with Middle Eastern strings. This is Khaled’s best in years!
<< release: 08/25/09 >>