Accordion Guy Advent Calendar, Day Eight: Rachid Taha’s "Rock el Casbah"

Photo: Figurine of Santa playing the accordion. Some music for day eight of the Accordion Guy Advent Calendar — all the way from Algieria, here’s Rachid Taha’s Rock el Casbah [5.7MB, MP3], his cover of The Clash’s Rock the Casbah. It’s off his album Tekitoi, a term that is derived from the French “T’es qui, toi?” — “You — who are you?”.

Here’s a little blurb about Taha:

‘My music has always been more influenced by chaabi

(old style pop, mainly from Algiers & Ed) which I’ve always loved

because of its poetry and rebelliousness.’ After leaving Carte de

Sejour at the end of the 1980s, Taha teamed up with the British

producer and trance meister Steve Hillage to record a series of classic

albums including ‘OlÈ OlÈ’, the most recent ‘Made in Medina’ and the

classic ‘Diwan’, which features Taha’s monster hit cover of ‘Ya Rayah’,

an old song written by the Algerian Berber legend Dahmane El Harrachi.

With its expert blending of North African roots, rock and house

inspired electronica, ‘Diwan’ is nothing less than a template for the

future development of North African music. Above all Rachid Taha is a

great showman, delivering rude-boy witticisms and hilarious insights

with sweaty passion whilst his band fire off raucous rock riffs and

snakey Arabic melodies. It’s a clear case of never mind the world music

bollocks, here’s Rachid Taha.

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