Rai Sidi Bel Abbes

NP 032LP NP 032LP

2021 repress. A selection of eight songs covering the period from 1979 to 1989 by one of Rai's softest voices. Wah-Wah driven, mid-tempo guitar based early Rai from the city where Rai's "harder" form was conceived. Sad romantic songs about lost loves and other sorrowful tales. Mastered by Mark Gergis. Vinyl master and lacquer cut by Frederic Alstadt - Angstrom Studio. Edition of 300.

"... In the mid-1970s, the music scene in the Oran region was dominated by groups such as Les Aigles Noirs, Choc, or The Basils -- playing mainly Western pop covers, ranging from the Beatles to French romantic songs. Then, there were also the emerging new Rai sounds, championed by Messaoud Bellemou and his troupe -- with a sound driven by trumpets and saxophones. I was 17 in 1978, when I joined Les Aigles Noirs as a 'stage animator' . . . This is how I met Ahmed Zergui. Zergui and his group, Les Freres Zergui were pioneers. They were the first to introduce wah-wah pedals and drums in Rai . . . It combined Rai, rock and jazz elements into something unheard before. It was about 1979 when Ahmed Zergui offered me to join his group as an animator . . . In 1979, I released my first cassette Jayya Arassa / Jaya Techoufi Babak on Editions Mekkeraphone with Zergui on guitar. Cheb Khaled was the rising star of Rai after releasing 'Ya Sada' and he covered my song 'Jat Jat', which helped attract a lot of attention, and resulted in many show requests around Oran . . . Ahmed Zergui passed away in 1983 . . . The group separated and we did not know what to do . . . In 1984, I began reaching out to former members of the group, such as Omar Assou, Kassem Atek, Nasser, and Houari Toubi. In Oran, I linked with the label La Nouvelle Etoile, who invited me to start recording again. We signed a three-year contract and we released nine cassettes together; the first of which featured 'Jibek Liyam' and 'Malgre Ma Dert Fiya'. Rai was progressing fast, and had started to integrate modern instruments such as Roland synthesizers, drum machines, etc... We started recording at Studio Malik in Oran, and this is where we met the true legend that was Meghni Mohamed . . . By the late 1980s, we had worked with most of the established Rai labels such as Editions Anwar, Editions Maghreb, or Editions Saint Crepain. In 1994, Kassem Atek and I considered applying quarter tones and Hijaz Maqam to the electric guitar. I was very familiar with them on vocals, but applying them to guitar was a first in North Africa. This new sound had a relatively large success, which resulted in numerous releases...." --Drissi El-Abbassi (Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria September 2020)