Kabylian Essence

Moh Alileche -  In Memory of a Hero
Moh Alileche – In Memory of a Hero
Moh Alileche

In Memory of a Hero (Flag of Freedom Records, 2009)

Berber musician and activist Moh Alileche returns with In Memory of a Hero, an album dedicated to Lounes Matoub (also spelled Lunes Matub). Matoub was a well known Berber singer-songwriter who was kidnapped by militants and was later assassinated. Alileche no longer lives in Kabylia, a Berber (Amazigh) region in Algeria that has clashed with the Algerian government because of freedom, human rights, language and cultural issues. Alileche now lives in exile in Berkeley, in the United States, where he works as performer and educator. The album cover shows him holding proudly his beloved mandol (an instrument of the lute family) with the backdrop of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Moh Alileche introduces the lively traditional rhythms of his homeland as well as passionate contemporary elements. The acoustic sounds of the mandol are joined by percussion, [wiki:ney], guitar, bass, keyboards, violin, and banjo. Part of the album was recorded in Kabylia in 2008 and the rest was made in France. Renowned musician Takfarinas appears as a guest on one track, where he plays the mandol.

The CD booklet provides detailed liner notes about every song and the longing for Kabylia’s forests, meadows and olive groves. It also includes a brief glossary that clarifies the meaning of several words related with the Berber people: Amazigh (Berber, singular), Imazighen (Berbers, plural), Tamazight (Berber language), and Tamazgha (North Africa). The majority of Berbers live in current day Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia and Libya.

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