Sunday, February 27, 2022

Rouicha - Rarad Amazan رَارَادْ أَمَزَانْ

Here's another Rouicha album that I don't see on any of the streaming platforms. 

Rouicha's albums are always sung either completely in Arabic (Moroccan darija) or completely in Tamazight (Middle Atlas dialect). Today's offering is the first one I've shared where he sings in Tamazight. Although the grooves and rhythms are basically the same as on his Arabic songs, the melodies tend to be a little different - less wide ranging, remaining in a narrow ambitus. Interestingly on this tape there are 3 distinct vocal groups - Rouicha singing solo, a female respondent group, and a male respondent group.


Rouicha نجم الموسم رويشة و مجموعته
Tichkaphone cassette TCK788 تشكافون

A1 Aghoudeh Labas أَغْدحْ لَابَاسْ
A2 Awaroutn Ayoulinou أَوَارُوتْنعْ ايْولِينوُِ
B1 Rarad Amazan رَارَادْ أَمَزَانْ
B2 Ahidous أحِيدُوسْ

320 | FLAC

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Rouicha - Ouaili Ouaili وايلي وايلي

Here's a great album by lotar-master Mohamed Rouicha. It's been a while since I posted anything by Rouicha, though we've recently featured some of his collaborators and an album of covers of his songs. 

Rouicha's albums rarely differ from the standard format - 4 songs over 2 sides of a cassette, all with lotar, some bendirs, and one or several female vocalists singing the song's refrains. It's a great formula, and there's LOTS of Rouicha's music available online, much of it aggregated at the Arab Tunes blog and at Ournia. I'd already posted 3 Rouicha albums here, here, and here. So I hadn't gone back through my Rouicha tapes for a while.

Somehow, though, this album didn't appear anywhere online, even on YouTube. I hadn't listened to it in a long time, and didn't remember it being this good. There's a nice organic push and pull of dynamics between the lotar and the bendirs. Some songs alternate between different melodic sections. (Middle Atlas songs often repeat the same melodic material over and over.) And of course Rouicha's touch on the lotar is always a gift. Enjoy!

Rouicha نجم الموسم رويشة
Tichkaphone cassette TCK872 تشكافون

A1 Ouaili Ouaili وايلي وايلي
A2 Ezzine الزين
B1 Mahboubi محبوبي
B2 Al Âshqin العاشقين

320 | FLAC

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Brahim El Alami

Here's a tape of songs by composer, oud player, singer, and conductor Brahim El Alami (1930-2000). I believe they date from the 1960s and were released originally on 7" singles. I picked up this Tichkaphone compilation in the 1990s.

A native of Casablanca, El Alami is praised for incorporating elements of Moroccan folk music into his chanson moderne / musiqa âsriya compositions. I can't identify those specifically, but I do get the sense that his lyrics and melodies feel natural to the rhythmic flow of Moroccan Arabic. (Âsriya can sometimes feel overly Middle Eastern.)

Apologies - this isn't an ideal copy of the tape. I've edited out the 70 seconds where the kids got ahold of the tape player and pressed the wrong button (beginning of side B); the tape snapped at some point and got repaired (early side A / late side B), and the levels fluctuate here and there (I've tried to adjust that). And the final track "Ait Ourir" sounds like it fades out early. Still, this is an enjoyable, old-school set of songs!

You can find these songs and many others of Brahim el Alami on YouTube. More of his music is available at Ournia as well as on global platforms like Spotify, etc.

Brahim El Alami ابراهيم العلمي
Tichkaphone cassette TCK 546

A1 Khellini Bâid خليني بعيد

A2 Ya Lli Sourtek Bin Âinay ياللي صورتك بين عيني
B1 Allah Isamhek الله يسامحك
B2 Ait Ourir آيت أورير

320 | FLAC