Maghreb United AMMAR 808

Album info



Label: Glitterbeat Records

Genre: Electronic

Subgenre: Ambient

Album including Album cover


Formats & Prices

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FLAC 44.1 $ 10.20
  • 1Degdega03:10
  • 2Sidi kommi03:44
  • 3Ain essouda04:04
  • 4El bidha wessamra03:24
  • 5Layli02:43
  • 6Alech taadini03:47
  • 7Ichki lel bey03:43
  • 8Kahl el inin03:30
  • 9Boganga & sandia04:43
  • 10Zine ezzine03:43
  • Total Runtime36:31

Info for Maghreb United

AMMAR 808 is a fantastic proposition: North African music pulled through the vortex of a Tunisian producer with his eye on the bass bins. Maghreb United has a range of excellent singers from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia sitting at the centre of an ecstatic whirl of traditional instrumentation, distorted treatments, and big booming bass and drum patterns. Brilliant, energetic stuff, out on the Glitterbeat label.

On his debut release, Maghreb United, featuring the singers Mehdi Nassouli (Morocco), Sofiane Saidi (Algeria), and Cheb Hassen Tej (Tunisia), he connects the two to offer a radical, electronic reinvention of ancient North African music. AMMAR 808 started the project in 2017, after working with the lauded Bargou 08, searching for something to link the sense of what has been with what will be. "I'm trying to weave threads from folklore and mythology into futurism. And I'm not necessarily projecting a positive image; from all we can see, things aren't going in the right direction. What I hope is that it will raise an alarm." Yet there's also plenty of hope here. With singers from Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, songs from the Targ, Gnawa, and Raï histories, and a TR-808 alongside a distorted gumbri (Nassouli), gasba flute, and zokra bagpipes (Lassaed Bougalmi), this is an album that reaches out to encompass the entire Maghreb area of North Africa. "In the past the Maghreb was one huge region, yet very diverse within its borders. But today, the world keeps every person separated. The album isn't so much about a united Maghrebi region, but how we can connect while observing our differences -- our differences are also our connection -- and using them to unify as humans." The choice of songs was also very deliberate for AMMAR 808, with nine of the ten cuts taken from the deep tradition. The idea for Maghreb United (which is also the name for the album's performing group) has long been burning in AMMAR 808, but it burst into flame after the musician and producer met all the singers on his regular trips in the region, before returning home to start building the tracks. The deep, rumbling growl of the gumbri, the dry, airy tenderness of the gasba, and the softly slithering zokra give a powerful North African root to the music, a thread that spins back through centuries. And the singers burn with fire and grace and passion.

Sofiane Saidi, vocals
Mehdi Nassouli, vocals
Cheb Hassen Tej, vocals

AMMAR 808 - Maghreb United
2018 is destined to be a year of emancipation for Arab music’s relationship with electronica. As well as the growing interest among western artists (led by Acid Arab) for North African and Eastern sounds, a veritable galaxy of local producers are delving back into the musical heritage of their homelands and reinventing traditional sounds with the help of new electronic production tools. A case in point is AMMAR 808, the project of Tunisian musician Sofyann Ben Youssef, who specialises in reworking raï and chaabi arrangements using a Roland TR-808. Brimming with rapid, dense beats, twangy keys and compressed darbukas, this self-proclaimed ‘North-African futurist’ embodies the new-found vigour and enthusiasm of the contemporary music scene in the Maghreb.

In doing so, AMMAR 808 is treading a fine yet invigorating line between tradition and modernity. Accompanied by Tunisian vocalist Cheb Hassen Tej, Gnawa musician Mehdi Nassouli and celebrated Algerian singer Sofian Saidi, this live performance promises to be an intense experience for all lovers of Arab music. Through a subtle mix of oriental poetry and dance vibrations, get ready to be transported to a freshly united and proud Maghreb that is energetically represented by this new generation of musical ambassadors.

This album contains no booklet.

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