Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ghita Ben Abdeslam

Here's a nice album in the chanson moderne style by singer Ghita ben Abdeslam. Born into an artistic family, Ghita is the niece of sibling singers Mohammed al-Idrissi and the celebrated Bahija Idris, and daughter of composer Mohammed ben Abdeslam, who composed the songs on this album.

According to the discussion on, the songs "Fellah" and "Allah Âliha Ziara" originally featured lyrics in Moroccan dialect, but were rewritten and recorded here in a more Egyptian dialect. I don't always enjoy west/east Arabic crossovers, but these are pretty nice. She even delivers a nice layali vocal improvisation over the Moroccan beat in this live version of "Allah Âliha Ziara":

Ghita composed lyrics to her own songs later in her career, some in Moroccan, and some in straight-up Egyptian. She retired from performing at a young age (1999 according to her Wikipedia entry), but reportedly promised that she would return one day.

Thanks to Marc of Hive Mind Records for hooking me up with this tape. Moroccan music fans should definitely be keeping an eye on what's new at Hive Mind - a great source for Moroccan music recordings over the last couple of years. More to come on that front very soon!!

Ghita Ben Abdeslam - غيثة بن عبد السلام
Edition Hassania Cassette EH 1169
1) Âziz Âlina عزيز علينا
2) Allah Âliha Ziara الله عليها زيارة
3) Fellah فلاح
4) Âam Fel Ghorba عام في الغربة

Get it all HERE.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Najat Aâtabou - Non-Stop Derdeg in the 21st Century

Here's another Najat Aâtabou album that I don't see anywhere else online. It's from 2001, the followup to "Attention A Monsieur", which I posted a few months back. It has a mainstream-chaâbi feel similar to that album, except that the viola and oud (?) are replaced by what sounds like a steel-stringed plucked instrument - can't tell if it's a bouzouk or possibly a guitar.

At any rate, as with the previous album, the keyboard bass gives the album an overall "programmed" sound. The percussion is prominent in the mix, and the textures vary nicely from song to song and verse to verse. As is typical for much 21st century Moroccan chaâbi, the production is a little too perfect for my ear. Still, Najat's singing is as powerful as ever, and it's hard to argue with the kicking, 13 minute medley that closes the album.

Apologies to those to whom I owe an email, shout out, or other overdue salaam! Wishing everyone a good and groovy New Year!

Najat Aâtabou - نجاة اعتابو
Ândak Tkoun Boudina - عنداك اتكون بودينة 
Edition Sonya Disque cassette T.C. 1953 (2001)

1) Ândak Tkoun Boudina عنداك اتكون بودينة
2) Haouli 3a Lkbida حاولي عا لكبيدة
3) Stop Haddek Temma حدك تما STOP
4) Malek Timid A Loulid مالك تيميد ا لوليد
5) Ana Sehrouni انا سحروني
    Ya Lousti Khlini Menni L-Rajli يا لوستي خليني مني لراجلي
    Moutou Lli Dwaw Fiya موتو يا اللي داواو في

Get it all HERE.

Friday, November 9, 2018

100+ Women Elected to US Congress, So Enjoy These Awesome Âouniyat Ladies from Marrakech

US voters elected over 100 women to Congress in this week's midterm election. May they be as fierce as these awesome âouiniyat ladies out of Marrakech!

Âouniyat Ladies of Safi Disque
Safi Disque cassette
circa 2001

1) Wa Lalla Fatima / Aw ya L-Hajj
2) Ândi bniya wahda / Âjebtini a bniti
3) Rani halfa / Ha hiya jatek ya loulid
4) Feen jellaba elli bghit ana / Wa kanet jaya jaya malha wellat / Âjbatu w bghaha
5) Ghadi âref a ya siri fouti  / Had rajel ârfali fâylu / Ha w feen saken

Get it all HERE.