Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Pop
Covering the period from the '80s to the present, Maxi Rai showcases 49 tracks covering the Algerian diaspora from traditional to contemporary pop. Fans of Khaled will thrill to early recordings that feature Cheb ("young m... more »
Covering the period from the '80s to the present, Maxi Rai showcases 49 tracks covering the Algerian diaspora from traditional to contemporary pop. Fans of Khaled will thrill to early recordings that feature Cheb ("young man") Khaled and Zahouania paired in early rai modes, as well as Cheb Kader, Noria, Cheb Hasni, and Bellemou Messaoud and current stars like Cheb Mami. Also included are female stars (rai was ostensibly created by women in the first place); among them are Chaba Fadela, Chaba Amina, and Aisa. Maxi Rai, drawing mostly from the Blue Silver label, partially documents the movement of an underground street music seeking expression--despite a ban from the authorities--from a somewhat cheesy amalgamation of politics, tradition, and Western pop into a form that has achieved global recognition and acclaim. Nonexistent liner notes mean the music speaks for itself in its own disparate tones. --Derek Rath
P. Bossert | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of rai releases by a singer or a band or even compilations by producer tend to be a little same-sounding (to Western ears?) as you get into the 8th or 11th track, which sometimes creates the impression that rai is not very deep as a genre. This collection puts the lie to that particular idea. Covering a wide range of artists and 15-or-so years, these four discs will provide you with musical revelations for months, if not years. You may not like every song on it, but after listening for awhile you will better understand why you like what you do like. A history lesson, rai appreciation course and dance party in one package."
MuzikJunky | NYC | 06/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you tire of the overtly Western-sounding faux rai, or if you're new to rai music, this might be the definitive rai collection. If you can't get enough of the late Rachid Baba's production genius, look no further (he did the first track on disc 2, as an example, and a few others in this set). Despite the horrible opening track on disc 1 by Cheb Mami, which was featured in the film "American Cuisine," there's not a single bummer. The hypnotic, cheap-drum-machine, Casio-esque grooves are intact and as funky as ever. Some of the songs here can be found, rerecorded, on other compilations, but these here are the best versions. Especially good are the tracks by Cheb Khaled (recorded before he sold out), Chaba Zahouania (my favorite rai artist), Bellemou Messaoud, and Cheb Kamel el Oujdi (love that drum programming!). However, some classic rai (before synthesizers) can be found, but those tracks are great as well, especially the second track on the first disc (what songwriting!). Prepare to be amazed."