Hamid Baroudi grew up with music in Algeria and took to the stage at the early age of 15. In Algeria, music is more than mere entertainment, it can represent hope in the face of oppression, a feeling of solidarity, spirituality, trance, even medicine. Music accompanied Hamid to France, where, after a long stay, he hitched further and landed in Germany, studying art in Kassel, home of the Pocumenta exhibition. There followed six exciting years as front-man of world beat band Dissidenten, an important step in his musical career.
After touring worldwide and the release of 4 albums, Hamid Baroudi left Dissidenten with whom he’d become the vanguard of Global pop, and dedicated himself to his own solo career. He worked for 2 years on “City” No* Mad”. Groove forms the focal point of “City* No* Mad”, the rhythms of Maghreb coupled with Anglo-American rock.
Musical honors and accolades accumulated thenceforth around Baroudi, the “political animal”. He collected praise and prizes for his musical work; three tours for Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD festival organization took him to England, Spain and Japan. He won the “Award for Culture” in his chosen home town of Kassel and topped the European World Music charts in August 1994. Besides all this, he appeared in Bonn in front of 200.000 at an Anti-Gulf-War festival. His performances and engagement as a forward-thinking “child of Islam” achieve a complete opposite to the uncompromising fundamentalism of some of his brethren.
1996 seemed only to underline the fact that Hamid Baroudi’s goal was to bring together cultural worlds that seem to the outsider unalignable. City No Mad successfully fused African music and Anglo-American rock and pop. With the Mad C.T. Mix, Hamid went all experimental. Except for one song. His previous album was completely remixed. Drum & & Bass, Techno, House and Dub; they were all “in there.”
Hamid’s second solo album 5 contains singing in 5 different languages: Arabic, English, French, Spanish and the West African tongue of Wolof. Apart from that, the number 5 itself had well-known mystical properties, especially among the Arabs. In North Africa it’s a fact that the “Hand of Fatima” is simply called 5. Add to this the 5 continents, the 5 senses and the “5 Pillars of lslam.”
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.