Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Iness Mezel, Fatiha, Malika|
Berber Singing Goes World
Genres: World Music, Pop
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD by the group Iness Mezel is just outstanding! Iness Mezel (which translates to "Tell her never to despair") is 2 sisters, Fatiha and Malika, of Kabyl-Berber (Algeria) origin, born and raised in France. They compose beautiful berber music to which they add african rythms of jazz and blues, as well as Brezilian beats in the percussion. And there is so much diversity and creativity in both music and lyrics. The latter are written and sung in Berber, but English and French translations are included also. The voices of Fatiha and Malika change throughout the songs, being soft at times, expressing tenderness, love, vulnerability, fear, insecurity, pain, dreams and aspirations, and loud and forceful at other times, expressing anger, outrage, revenge, taking charge of one's own destiny, struggle for one's own rights, etc. This CD has been very well received throughout the musical world. It has been played by various international radios in Europe, Africa, and America. It has been rated 2nd among the top ten in summer 2,000 by a Los angeles radio."
2 Amazigh-Berber Women of North Africa Rock Their Roots
Mitch Ritter | Po' Land, Or-Wa USA | 12/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When thinking of Algeria and North Africa, the American reference points tend to be Arabic and Andalusian, or the French Colonization until the expulsion of the French in 1962 following the Battle of Algiers. A well-kept secret is the Amazigh Culture and People (or as they are known in a somewhat disparaging way, The Berbers, which means Barbarians). Actually, as a listen to this band led by two Amazigh-Berber women recording in exile in Spain and Belgium will illustrate, it isn't the Amazigh and Tamazight-speaking Tuareg tribes who are North Africa's barbarians. Rather, as history is written by the victors (unless one is Palestinian) it is the barbarism of the Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Spanish Catholics, Ottoman Turks, the French, and post-colonial Middle Eastern Arabs again who were the victors of many historical and brutal conquests that have never quite been able to completely vanquish, enslave, or otherwise co-opt some 40 million speakers of the Amazigh-Berber language in North Africa. This remarkable language called Tamazight (Language of the Free Peoples, or Imazighen) has variously been outlawed, bullied and banned from public use in Mauritania, Morocco, Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya by the post-colonial Arabization policies of those regimes, with no peep of protest from the U.N. or international community. In Algeria, Morocco, and Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara only Arabic is permitted in the legal courts, making dispossession of Amazigh-Berber tribal lands a matter of procedure, since no translators are allowed to give voice to the inhabitants. This attempt to erase the native and majority culture of resource rich North Africa has been facilitated by the stringpullers behind the 'Arab Facade,' namely ARAMCO's (Arabian-American Oil Corporation's) western Big Oil partners."Aya Hedath" takes us into a mountain village as a jubilant Amazigh-Berber woman celebrates with friends her divorce from Mr. Wrong. That is another topic not likely to be found in the songs of the dominant culture, Arabic. Nor do the Islamists, who've never accepted the conversion of many Amazigh-Berbers to a unique and pluralistic Sufi strand of Islam, even tolerate women writing, much less singing their way to freedom. The percussion tracks here are joyous and buoyant, mixing World Beat instruments with some unique sounding handbuilt instruments native to the Amazigh-Berbers and North Africa. Traces of comping electric guitar and bass can be heard tastefully mixed down beneath the voices of Iness Mezel's two harmonizing women lead singers."Slassen Kan" is a shuffle at breakneck speed, with beats that could only be Amazigh-Berber, and distinctly Kabylie. Kabylia is the coastal range region of sanctuary in Algeria where Amazigh-Berbers have staged their most resilient resistance to Arabization since the famous Berber Spring Uprisings of 1980. Tamazight, the Berber language, contrary to the propaganda line of the Arabization and ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company) media campaign that claims there is no language but Arabic and local Arabic-derived dialects throughout North Africa, has 36 letters in its written and spoken alphabet. There is a wide Mediterranean palette of sounds not used by the Arabs or the French and Anglos that have coveted Berber lands (and oil and mineral rights). Listen carefully to Iness Mezel sing their parts, and follow along with the English and French song translations in the CD booklet. The harmonic sense and historical and social sensibilities found here could be from the dark side of the moon, but actually they are from the cloaked portion of Africa that is geographically and aesthetically closest to Euro-American shores and sensibilities. Listening to the liberated women of Iness Mezel, and other Tamazight recording artists such as Djur Djura, Houria Aicha, Umalu, Massa Bouchafa, Moh Alileche, Lounes Matoub, Lounes Ait Menguellet, Slimane Azem, Idir, Farid Ait Siameur's band Tayfa, Takfarinas, Ferhath, Djamel Allam, and Rabah Asma can leave a World Sound Surfing listener with an intoxicating buzz."