CD REVIEW: Moh Alileche - In Memory Of A Hero
By Don Sechelski - 02/25/2009 - 09:14 PM EST
Artist: Moh Alileche Album: In Memory Of A Hero Label: Flag Of Freedom Productions Website:http://www.flagoffreedom.com Genre: World Technical Grade: 9/10 Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10 Commercial Value: 6/10 Overall Talent Level: 9/10 Songwriting Skills: 9/10 Best Songs: Couscous, In Memory Of A Hero Weakness: The language barrier will make this music inaccessible to some American listeners. CD Review:
Moh Alileche's fourth album, In Memory
Of A Hero, is a swirling, dancing trip through the North African Berber
region of Algeria.
Dedicated to assassinated Berber Kabyle singer, Lounes Matoub, In Memory Of
A Hero celebrates the freedom loving peoples of northeastern Algeria.
Matoub was a musician and political activist championing the cause of the indigenous
Berbers of the Kabyle highlands of Algeria. His killing increased
tensions between that region and the central government.
Moh sings his songs in the native
tongue of Kabylia, Tamazight. This is, in itself, an expression of defiance
toward the government which prefers that citizens use Arabic. Fortunately, for
us English speakers; In Memory Of A Hero includes a translated title and
description of the meaning of each song.
The music, itself is a breathtaking blend of native instruments
including Moh Alileche on vocals and mandol. Bazou plays mandol also as well as
guitar and bass. Rabah Oukrine provides percussion, Mouloud Nait Ali plays
banjo and mandol, Mokhtur Boudilida plays violin, and Kamal Sahnoune plays
keyboard. Other players include Salem Kerrouche on flute, Djamal Hamiteche on
drums and percussion, Ali Togoli on percussion, Moh Akli on t'bel, and
Takfarinas on mandol.
Awaiting The Dancer is a wedding dance. It's easy to
close your eyes and see the finely decorated room where the musicians play
while the guests await the arrival of the dancer. Her finely measured steps and
beautiful native scarves dazzle the audience. Beauty Of Kabylia begins
with a plaintive violin solo before the rest of the band joins Alileche in
extolling the beauty their homeland, Kabylia. I like the long mandol solo at
the beginning of In Memory Of A Hero. The steady beat of the t'bel
(large drum) is propulsive as Said Hamidi, Karim Becha, and Said Khazem join
Alileche on vocals. Coucous extolls the virtues of the main dish of
Berber people. The music is hypnotic as Alileche trades phrases with the flute
over a pulsing bed of percussion.
Memory Of A Hero is
stirring music that celebrates the people and culture of the Berber people of North Africa. It is a rich taste of beautiful, hypnotic
melodies and percussive passionate rhythms. Now that I've heard Memory Of A
Hero, I am inspired to check out his earlier three CD's. If you are interested
in world music, check out In Memory Of A Hero.
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