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Author Topic: He Raï
Arch Stanton
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posted 08 May 2002 12:41 AM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, Raï is pop culture somewhere besides my house!

Does anyone else listen?

Favorite singers/styles/tunes anyone?


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Riffraff
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posted 08 May 2002 09:15 AM      Profile for Riffraff     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As you may know, Arch, Rai (I cannot put the tréma, the 2 dots one beside the other) means "opinion" in Arabic. This type of music evolved in Algeria as means of expression -especially political- where no freedom of expression is allowed. It had flourished in France, among Algerian exilés.

It was no surprise that one of the most famous Rai singers -a Kabyle, berber or Algerian aboriginal- was shot dead in Algeria 3 years ago in abscure circumstances.

The Rai hit a cord with the masses despite regimes' respression and is now "tolerated" par la force des choses

It is performed in Algeria, Morocco, I think also Tunisia but is heard around the Arab world, Europe (among the exile communities) and beyond...

Rai is usually in colloquial Algerian arabic, a bit hard to understand East past Libya, so many arab-speaking people actively seek the meaning while others love the music of it.

People who are literate (i.e speak and understand) standard arabic have much less trouble understanding, not because Rai is in standard arabic.. but colloquial arabic is mostly derived from standard arabic (the one taught in school, and that is everywhere. Of course there are words that are not arabic and not derived from arabic and expressions that are local.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Arch Stanton
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posted 11 May 2002 02:12 PM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't remember which singer was shot; was it Hasni?

I don't follow current artists much. Le p'tit Faudel was HUGE in France a couple of years ago. Even people I knew who disliked any Arab music (I'm not mentioning any names) like Faudel.

There's a Cheb Mami record called Meli Melo that has a cool mix of Maghrebian and Celtic sounds on some tunes. Raï with a cornemeuse.

I like some Cheikha Remitti stuff, Houari Benchenet as well as Cheb Sahraoui and Chaba Fadela. Khaled is OK, and his records are the easiest to find, but his music has become way too westernized and commercial. I once saw Khaled and Noa on French TV singing John Lennon's Imagine. Not Raï, but very nice to hear.

I just found this link, and I know there are many others out there.


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Riffraff
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posted 11 May 2002 03:16 PM      Profile for Riffraff     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Man, you are amazing with your vast culture. Really! I am impressed, Arch, and thank you for the info and link.

It was Bechiri Boudjema, known as Cheb Aziz, Algeria's most known Rai singer who was kidnapped and killed in 1996 supposedly by Islamists. As if the Algerian government had no interest in stifling his life !!!

It seems we like the same singers. I do have most of the songs you have mentioned and listen to them frequently. Not CDs but I downloaded them from sites.

While not a Rai singer and not really today's singer, I would like to ask you if you ever stumble in a site where there are songs of (Algerian) Rabah (or Rebah) Diriassa, please, please let me know. For nostagia quelching, I would like to listen to Diriassa. I have been looking for a while without success.

Well, thanks Arch, and keep them coming buddy


From: Ontario | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Riffraff
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posted 11 May 2002 03:23 PM      Profile for Riffraff     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Arch,

I mentioned singer Boujemaa for he was the latest. But the litany is a long one. Since you piqued my curiosity, I went to a site and read:

"Cheb Hasni (real name Hasni Chekroune) was the first rai singer to be shot dead, on 29 September 1994, four days after the kidnapping of Berber performer Matoub Lounes by suspected Muslim guerrillas. Rachid Baba-Ahmed - who also produced rai music cassettes of Algerian singers - was killed on 15 February 1995, in a week which also saw the murder of the head of Algeria's national theatre, the leader of a feminist movement and the head of a student movement. In August last year singer Lila Amara was killed. Meanwhile the rai singer Cheb Khaled had his lyrics banned in 1994, while nightclubs performing his songs were closed."


From: Ontario | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Arch Stanton
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posted 12 May 2002 12:03 AM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rachid Baba-Ahmed produced the two Raï Rebels records. I heard Raï Rebels on CBC Stereo in 1988. I tried ordering it through a local indy record store, but they couldn't get it.

I met Cara Sposa a few months later. She took me to France to meet her family a couple of months after that. We stopped in at the fnac in Paris, where I picked up the LP, Raï Rebels, before going to her hometown.

The trouble I go through to get a record!

I listened to an LP called He Raï quite a bit during the 1991 Gulf war. I was living in a university residence at the time. Whenever the news came on, I'd get all angry and play Moul el Bar real loud on the stereo, and just wait for somebody to complain. Nobody ever did.

Raï is kind of funny. Its message is more or less "sex-and-drugs-and rock and roll," but since it's sung in Arabic, it sounds so exotic. It is nevertheless, true rebel music, as those in authority in Algeria condemn it as subversive.

I made a boo-boo earlier. The Cheb Mami CD is called Meli Meli. "Meli melo" is a French word to describe food that is made up of unusually creative mixtures of ingredients - something like bagpipes and Raï.

[ May 12, 2002: Message edited by: Arch Stanton ]

[ May 12, 2002: Message edited by: Arch Stanton ]


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Arch Stanton
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posted 21 May 2002 12:09 PM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A couple of groups who aren't Raï per se, but have a Maghreb sound to them at times, are Zebda and Les Negresses Verte.

Even Mano Negra/Manu Chao mixes a North African flavour into the blend once in a while.


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
vickyinottawa
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posted 21 May 2002 05:31 PM      Profile for vickyinottawa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I love Les Negresses Vertes.... thanks for reminding me
From: lost in the supermarket | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 21 May 2002 09:13 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Most at least of Zebda (the makeup of these bands changes...) is made up of young North African immigrants' kids in Toulouse (Southwestern France).

I have met Rachid Taha, who is from Lyon (Algerian descent, I believe born in Algeria but family moved to southeastern France when he was small, he is a friend of friends in Lyon.

Both Raï and the music of Black African countries are among the most fertile ingredients in the modern music of France.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

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