Saturday, January 4, 2014

Riffi Pop - Milouda

Happy 2014 y'all! The computer has been repaired, so I'm happy to get back to the blog!

I have never visited the Rif region of Morocco, but I was able to pick up some Riffi tapes in Tangier. Tariffit is the northernmost of the 3 Amazigh (Berber) dialects spoken in Morocco. (We've got plenty of Tachelhit and Tamazight stuff in the stash.)

Riffi music has not been very well represented on the national musical scene in Morocco over the years. For as long as I've been visiting Morocco, Moroccan TV has regularly featured artists performing in Tachelhit and Tamazight, some of whom have become household names in Arab-speaking areas. (E.g., Fatima Tabaamrant, Fatima Tahihit, Hadda Aouaki, and crossover artists like Rouicha and Najat Aatabou.) However, I don't recall ever seeing Riffi artists on Moroccan TV. This omission is perhaps a legacy of the long contentious relations between the Rif and the monarchy.

The girl in the photo is not the singer Milouda. In other Milouda album covers I've seen online, a model is pictured rather than the singer. If my web searching is correct, the singer in my cassette may be the same Milouda featured in the clip below, draped in the Amazigh flag. (Though I must say, the voice on my cassette is at a much higher pitch range.)

Hope you like the Riffi beat - it continues non-stop through both sides of this cassette. I think it's great - prominent bendir gives it great buzzy propulsion! To my ear, it has a rhythmic shape similar to that heard in northeastern Moroccan Arab music (known as Âlaoui)...

and in northwestern Algerian Arab music (folk rai and pop rai).

And again, loving the cassette company logos, this time for Sawt Shahrazad "The Voice of Scheherazade":

Sawt Shahrazad Présente Al Fannana Milouda - Awrar n-Rif
01) Mouray - Thnayen Thifousiyen
02) Irhanni - Thloust Iniri (excerpt:)

Get it all here.

1 comment:

  1. Salam Tim,

    I am a french ethnomusicologist and I also have been in Gnawa for years now. I've already written to U a few mails but the adress might be not remaining active... I tried recently info@ etc.... Anyway, If you weren't to consult it either, could you answer me back at

    Sa3a mabrouka

    Jean Pouchelon

    P.S : no doubt that is Omar Hayat on the beautiful album you posted, bi-es-sa7 !