07 Mar, 2010

Houria Aïchi & L’Hijaz’ Car: An Album which makes you sleepless

Posted by: Eckehard Pistrick In: Reviews

Deep down you are torn into the abyss of a music with Oud, Daf, bendir, clarinets and metal clappings. A music as noble and unyielding as the riding shepherds of the Aurés mountains in Southern Algeria. Southern Algeria, once a famous winter resort for winter-tired Europeans, searching for a certain breeze of orientalism has much more to offer. Above all the magic voices of their women, who painfully cry out their suffering and ecstasy more intense and breathtaking than any Fado singer could. Particularly during wedding ceremonies these endless melodies can be heard.

Von Rezensionen

Like one track on it, the whole album is a nightmare, a grey mare, a menacing dream of the reinvention of a newly improvised music grounded in ancient roots. The famous Shawiya singer Houria Aïchi sings about the anxiety of becoming older and the muffled excitement caused by sounds of silk and embroidery. Listening to this off-beat music, driven forward by exceptional musicians from the Algerian migrant community of Strasbourg and the intuitive arrangement by Grégory Dargent, makes you sleepless.

Although this is neither the trance-music one might expect from Northern Africa, nor the angry political Rap of the Marseille suburbs, nor the smooth World Music mix which represents Maghreb music at certain Festivals. This music wants to be modern and archaic at the same time – but still it is a music without compromises. The music seems to have an endless breath and an extraordinary vitality caused by beautiful simplicity of its texts, which are reproduced in French and English.

Anyone who might have expected Music “al-andaluz” or a classical oriental ensemble will be deluded by unusual sounds. Banjo sequences or sound samples are here not out of place, but part of a wider ranging poetical concept. The encounter of the singer Shawiya singer Houria Aïchi with the group “L’Hijaz’ Car” results in a musical fairytale you will not easily forget – even while sleeping…

Houria Aïchi & L’Hijaz’ Car: Cavaliers de l´Aurès – Riders of the Aurès. Accords Croisés, Collection Vox Populi, harmonia mundi distribution, AC126, 2008.


No Responses to "Houria Aïchi & L’Hijaz’ Car: An Album which makes you sleepless"

Comments are closed.