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Made in Medina
Rachid Taha

This album, my only exposure to Mr. Taha, is quite good. Spectacular, in fact.

Salon’s Thomas Bartlett writes:

Rachid Taha

This is the Algerian rock/pop/rai star Rachid Taha’s cover of the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” — the verses translated into Arabic, the choruses left in English, and the whole thing decorated with the standard trappings of Arabic pop. It’s an intensely charged cover, not a simple tribute, complicated as it is by Taha’s belief that Strummer and Co. got their unacknowledged inspiration for the song from his ’80s French band Carte de Séjour, which they heard after Taha himself gave them a tape in 1981

and from Calabash Music

Rachid Taha, a man that knows the inside story! Never mind the war on terrorism, what about the war on fear, complacency, ignorance, racism, poverty and lies. That’s a struggle that Rachid Taha has been fighting for the past two decades and more, ever since he was a tear-away punk immigrant from Algeria gobbing metaphorically and no doubt literally at the good burghers of Lyon in France.

His band, Carte de Sejour (the French for ‘residence permit’), proved that rock power, punk attitude and Arabic roots could get along famously if mentored by a passionate, razor-sharp and mouthy soul like Taha. Being proudly North African on the one hand and truly rebellious on the other has always meant struggle on many fronts and Rachid Taha has spent his whole career lobbing musical molotovs at the latent and, as recent event have proved, not so latent racism of the French in the form of classic songs like ‘Voile Voile’ and ‘Douce France’ whilst berating his fellow North Africans for lack of ambition, obsession with tradition, cabaret complacency and enslavement to rai.

Written by Seth Anderson

July 7th, 2006 at 10:36 am

Posted in Music,Suggestions

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