Spin the Globe World Music


Spin the Globe Playlist for 26 March 2004
* = Specific listener request/response

Music of North Africa

Show Notes:
Sometimes lumped in with Arab music and sometimes ignored, the music of North Africa can be haunting and otherworldly. This week Spin the Globe explored music from Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria, and styles including Rai, Amizigh (Berber), Sahraoui, and other modern and traditional music.

Little music has escaped the desert country to be heard by western ears. Artists include Malouma, Ooleya Mint Amartichitt, and Dimi Mint Abba.

Western Sahara (currently under Moroccan occupation)
The best resource for music and cultural information is the 3-CD set Sahrauis: The Music of the Western Sahara (1998, Nubenegra/Intuition). Excellent, haunting music including the singing of the Sahraoui women, music bridging the gap between modern and traditional, and epic battle songs by the group Martir Luali. Includes the kind of raw, haunting guitar also heard on Festival in the Desert.

Moroccan music is of many types; it includes Arab, Berber, classical, and Popular elements. Musicians include Alabína, Master Musicians of Jajouka, Sawt el Atlas (France-based) and Chalf Hassan. One of contemporary Moroccan music's most notable figures is New York-based Hassan Hakmoun, who was born in Marrakesh in 1963. At age seven he began to study tagnawit, the traditional arts, folklore, and rituals of the Gnawa tribes, former slaves originating from the Sudan whose arrival in Morocco was marked by their conversion to Islam. The Gnawa people act as intermediaries in the spirit world and also as entertainers. For some free downloadable Moroccan mp3s, click here.

Algeria's homegrown music known as "Rai" -- North Africa's version of rhythm and blues -- has survived in spite of attempts by Islamic fundamentalists to stamp it out. During the Algerian civil war between 1992-1997 Islamic militants threatened to attack anyone who sang, played or even listened to Rai (which means “opinion” in Arabic). Rai was born in the west Algerian port of Oran, a place where Spanish, French, black American, and Arabic music styles have coexisted and mingled. Young Algerians have added hard rock, funk, reggae, drum machines, and echo chambers to the style. Lesser known is the music of Kabylia, a remote mountainous region east of Algiers. Algerian musicians include Paris-based groups Seba and Gnawa Diffusion, as well as Takfarinas, Abdelli, Djur Djura, Rachid Taha, Cheb Khaled, Cheikha Cherifa, Malik Belili, and Cheb Kader, and of course Cheb Mami, who’s known as "the Prince of Rai."

'Malouf', the Arabic music of the Andalousian Muslims chased out of Spain, was imported to North Africa, and Tunisia in particular, at the end of the 15th century. It grew so popular that it became the Tunisian music par excellence, supplanting all other forms, to the extent that it was named "malouf" which means "that which is normal." Tunesian musicians include: all-woman Taqasim Orchestra, Amina, Chakri Hannachi, and the not-so-traditional Anouar Brahem.

Lybia is another musically isolated country, as far as much music escaping to the west. Musicians include Dalinda, Cheb Jilani, Hameed el-Sha'eri.

Egypt is rich with a variety of music, from classical Arab to traditional Nubian to modern dance. Amr Diab won the 1998 World Music Award for his song "Nour El Ain," making him only the second Arab singer ever to win the award. His English version of that song, called "Habibi," was a top song in Europe and became popular in dance clubs in the United States. Other Arabic musicians include Hakim (“the lion of Egypt”), Samira Saied (born in Morocco), Hossam Ramzy, and of course Oum Kalthoum, widely considered the greatest Egyptian vocalist of the 20th century. Maintaining the Nubian culture of southern Egypt are artists including Ali Hassan Kuban, Salamat, and Hamza El Din.

A great resource for deeper information on the music of Norther Africa is the Rough Guide to World Music: Africa, Europe, and the Middle East (1999, Rough Guides).

# Our cover song of the week was visiting friends this week; will be back next week.

* Malouma (Mauritania) Jraad Dunya Marabi
* Ooleya Mint Amartichitt (Mauritania) Wezene Louanges / Praise Songs Long Distance
Baba Salama et al (Western Sahara) The Dance of Es Semana Sahrauis: The Music of Western Sahara Intuition
Mahfoud Aliyen et al (Western Sahara) Viva el Polisario Sahrauis: The Music of Western Sahara Intuition
* Bahia el Idrissi (Morocco) Atahaddi Arhil Boudisque
* Nour-Eddine (Morocco) Aman (Peace in the deepest and inner sense) remix The Music of Morocco ARC
Houssaine Kili (Morocco) Attan (Hurt) Mountain to Mohamed Tropical Music
* Moh Alileche (Morocco) Algeria's Troubles Tragedy / Kabylia Music Flag of Freedom Productions
Seba (Algeria) Loukane Ewa Tinder
Amina (Algeria) Ya Baba Nomad - Best of Amina Mondo Melodia
Malik Belili (Algeria) Ayghar Zmanayi - Ce temps-la Blue Flame
Anouar Brahem (Tunesia) Pique-nique a Nagpur Le Pas du Chat Noir ECM
Dalinda (Libya) Enta / You Turquoise ARC
Cheb Jilani (Libya) Oyouni Sahara Oyouni Sahara EMI
Salamat (Egypt / Nubia) Zikraati (Greetings from Cairo) Nubiana Piranha
Mahmoud Fadl (Egypt / Nubia) The 2nd Night in Mohamed 'Ali Street The Drummers of the Nile in Town: Cairosonic Piranha

...then we wandered around the world, and visited some new releases...

Natacha Atlas Something Dangerous Something Dangerous Mantra
Oliver Mtukudzi Hariputirwe Tsivo (Revenge) Sheer Sound
Andy Brown & the Storm Shungu Passage of Time Sheer Sound
Tangle Eye / Bright Light Quartet Chantey Alan Lomax's Southern Journey Remixed Zoe
Musaik Salem In This World Roots Cellar
Musaik Around the World In This World Roots Cellar


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