Jill Turner recovers after being sucked into a testosterone fuelled vortex of edgy basslines, creative programming, and lyrical spitting, mentally exhausting and in parts exciting, before being flung out thrilled but mentally exhausted, onto the dance floor in a post acid, hard house club somewhere deep in Morocco.
Kasbah Rockers (Barraka, 2008)
The new project from producer and programmer Pat Jabbar who brings old friends from the Barraka label together, Magrhebika, Makale and Amira Saqati (also responsible for writing 8 of the 16 tracks). Long time creative partner Bill Laswell supplies the basslines and additional studio production, plus an injection of new talent comes in the form of Hamza and Anass. They deliver raps in French and Arabic covering Moroccan street reality alongside an examination of western values, a constant theme of the album. If you are a fan of DAM then you’ll enjoy these two brothers from the Marraki crew who work well with the other album’s rapper, Makale.
Overall this album is intense and at full tilt it is tough with the beats and tough on the emotions. There’s a lot to unravel with each track taking twists and turns of its own and it takes a few listens to start appreciating the textures and use of computer programming in conjunction with the traditional musical instruments of Morocco such as the Lotar. I predict a number of euphemisms, Maroc ‘n roll, Drum and Bled amongst others.
Recommended tracks include: ‘Falludjah Car’, an anti Iraq war, ‘Fikou’ a song of unity in a hip hop style and finally the last track of the album ‘Kafaka Mina Raks’ a more minimal post acid Moroccan hard house track of repetitive yet interesting drum patterns, and sufficient digital tweaks to satisfy the fuzziest headed dance floor weeble…big fish little fish cardboard box !
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Author: Jill Turner
Jill Turner contributes to Songlines Magazine, World Music Central and is on the fRoots critics albums of the year panel. Her radio show GondwanaSound broadcasts on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM to the fourth largest city in the UK and is carried on both Radio Groovalizacion and African Internet Radio.