Sunday, January 30, 2022

Half of a Houariyat Tape Will Rock You Better Than Most Full Albums

Here's some killer Houariyat sounds from Marrakech. This women's vocal and percussion tradition is some of the most joyful, raucous music I know. Sadly, the tape met an unfriendly player at some point over the last 20 years. But this half of a Houariyat tape will rock you better than most full albums.

For more Moroccan women's percussion group sounds, check the Stash's offerings from Houariyat and Âouniyat groups. 

Al Houariyat الهواريات
Led by Jmiâ Al Marrakchia برئاسة جميعة المراكشية
Sawt Al Menara cassette MN.32 صوت المنارة
c. 2000

A1 Sir Âlia Aymanek (snippet) سير عليى ايمانك
A2 Al Âyyadi العيادي
A3 Nouri Ya L-Ghaba
B1 Ghir Jini Nichan غير جيني نيشان
B2 Khurji ya Najat (snippet) خورجي يا نجاة

320 | FLAC

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Haj Abdelmoghit - Star of the Âita Bidaouia

2 long tracks of 21st century âita & chaâbi for your pleasure, from the microphone of Haj Abdelmoghit. I know I tend to wax nostalgic for the era of electric guitars and raucous drum kits in chaâbi, but I am not immune to the joys of more recent stylings. This album keeps it real with a viola, some light keyboard (and yeah, a synth bass), heavy on the percussion, and isn't that a drum kit down there in the mix? This works for me. And the album has the flow of an actual live set of music as you'd hear it in performance: begin with something slow and heavy, move through several songs, connected via violin-driven instrumental passages as the tempo speeds up and the sung call/response phrases get shorter and shorter, and ending at blistering speed with a punchy rhythmic phrase to cue the end of the song.

Ah that good âita bidaouia feeling! Abdelmoghit Essaidi (b. 1965, Casablanca) quit his bank job to pursue a career singing it. He's enjoyed great success as a real crowd-pleaser of course at weddings but also at concerts (such as the big Mawazine Festival in 2017). And he has even become a favorite among the Moroccan royals, performing at the wedding of Princess Lalla Soukaina in 2013.

Several of his albums can be streamed at Ournia:

Official Facebook:

Abdelmoghit عبد المغيت
Najm al Âita al Bidaouia نجم العيطة البيضاوية

Moughitphone 20/06/07 مغيت فون


Side A
 Settat Bladi السطات بلادي
 Nti ou Ana انتي وانا
 Souhaba الصوحابة
 Irjaâ Oulad Bladi ارجع اولاد بلادي
 Touachi تواشي

Side B
 Hani Mourak Hani Kdamek هاني موراك هاني كدامك
 Moula Âin Ettout مولا عين التوت
 Lemouima الميمة
 Al Âar al Hbab العار الحباب
 Chibani الشيباني
 Touachi التواشي

320 | FLAC

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Orchestre Nassim Bourgogne - Nadia Nadia Bache Bdeltini

Here's some of that good early 90s chaâbi! The artist here is Orchestre Nassim Bourgogne - not to be confused with the famous Noujoum Bourgogne/Mustapha Bourgogne, though one assumes that they hail from the same neighborhood, namely Bourgogne in Casablanca. The catchy catchy "Nadia Nadia" was a big hit in the summer of 1993, if my memory is correct.

I thought Nassim was the name of the singer, but in fact it's the name of the group - Nassim Bourgogne means "The Bourgogne Breeze". Facebook and YouTube are my only sources of information about the group. The Facebook page شعبيات شبابية مغربية identifies the 3 members of the group as Majid Meziane (singer), his brother Saïd Meziane (percussion) and Fakir Mohamed (viola). They appear to have gained some success in the 1980s and 90s.

Many audio and video clips of the group can be found on the YouTube channel TV HADJ BOUIDI, including this great extended clip from a 1994 concert.

The album we're sharing today has orchestration similar to that in the above live clip - there's a drum kit, an electric rhythm guitar and a keyboard. The guitar doesn't get to play much obbligato, other than the opening to "Nadia". I'd love to hear more of that, but I'm also happy to hear it play rhythm/chords, which I prefer so much more than hearing keyboard string or horn pads. And it does play some nice syncopated rhythmic figures during the âita piece that opens side B (audio clip below) - love it!

Orchestre Nassim Bourgogne اوركسترا نسيم بورگون
Nadia Bache Bdeltini نادية باش بدلتيني

Sawt El Farah cassette صوت الفرح

c. 1993

A1 Nadia Bache Bdeltini نادية باش بدلتيني
A2 S'hour Ettaleb سحور الطالب
B1 Chalini الشاليني
      Zaêri زعري

B2 Qalbi Ouellate
B3 Ghebti Ya Hbibi غبتي يا حبيبي

320 | FLAC



Saturday, January 8, 2022

Pluck Yeah! 1980s Electric Guitar Chaâbi Orchestre Plays Rouicha

Well here's something old yet different - it's a tape of songs by lotar-master Rouicha, performed by a 1980s chaâbi orchestre - viola, drum kit, and darbuka, and driven by an electric guitar! I was just remarking a couple weeks ago how Middle Atlas lotar songs work so well in a chaâbi context and vice versa. Here is more evidence (apologies - the audio quality is not the best, but the grooves are so good!):

The vibe here ☝️ reminds me somewhat of the âita-based guitar-driven sound of Noujoum el Haouz. The drum kit is similarly propulsive, and the darbuka and viola pull the track toward the âita sound world. On another track 👇 however, the âita/chaâbi stylings fall away - there is no viola, the singing is in Tamazight, and the drum kit and darbuka switch from chaâbi propulsion to a laid-back Middle Atlas swing. This foreshadows a bit the flangey acoustic guitar-driven Middle Atlas grooves that Moulay Ahmed el Hassani would popularize a few years later.

Unfortunately, I have no idea who are the musicians on the cassette or from where they hail. The Sawt Nassim label was (is?) based in Casablanca, but that doesn't guarantee that the ensemble was based there. I hope someone in YouTube comments can identify the musicians!

By the way, this cassette came to me from Essaouira (shukran T!) with the j-card pictured at right. I was looking forward to hearing it - the duo Arouiha and Oulad Cherif were featured in this old post over at Awesome Tapes From Africa. Was disappointed that the tape did not match the j-card. Luckily, the Sawt Nassim tape it housed is pretty great. Still - that leather tie!

The songs on side B of this album are both featured on Rouicha's fabulous album TCK790, still available here: I couldn't identify the first track on side A, but the second track, 'Mani L3ahd Mani L3zazit' (featured in the YouTube clip above) can be found on YouTube in several versions, one of which is attributed to Rouicha. (There's no discographic information, but a YouTube commenter claims it was recorded by Rouicha in 1981). It clearly remains a well-known song, as one can find versions of it performed by many artists on YouTube.

Editing note: Side A and Side B of the tape both end with instrumental intros, and both sides begin with intros cut off. So I grafted the intro from the end of each side to the first track on the other side.

Pluck Yeah! 1980s Electric Guitar Chaâbi Orchestre Plays Rouicha
Unknown Guitar-Driven Chaâbi Orchestre

Sawt Nassim cassette 

A1 Piste 01
A2 Mani L3ahd Mani L3zazit ماني العهد ماني العزازيث (video embedded above)
B1 Toub Toub A Rasi توب توب اراس (audio embedded above)

B2 Lawah a Lawah Ammi Lhubb Iâddeb لواه امي لواه الحب يعدب

FLAC | 320