Search - DJ Cheb I Sabbah :: La Kahena

La Kahena
DJ Cheb I Sabbah
La Kahena
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Cheb i Sabbah, one of Six Degrees? best selling artists, is known around the world for his ground-breaking South Asian trilogy, Shri Durga, Mahamaya: Shri Durga Remixed and Krishna Lila. Sabbah's heartfelt, spiritual appr...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: DJ Cheb I Sabbah
Title: La Kahena
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Six Degrees
Release Date: 5/10/2005
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, New Age, Pop
Styles: Electronica, India & Pakistan, India, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 657036111127


Album Description
Cheb i Sabbah, one of Six Degrees? best selling artists, is known around the world for his ground-breaking South Asian trilogy, Shri Durga, Mahamaya: Shri Durga Remixed and Krishna Lila. Sabbah's heartfelt, spiritual approach to bringing music to the dance floor has established him as a highly respected international music producer, DJ and an influential pioneer of the underground. On his long awaited new studio CD, La Kahena, the Algerian born Sabbah returns to the roots of his native North Africa gathering some of the most distinctive female singers from the Maghreb in a studio in Morocco. With tracks by vocalists from many different traditions of North Africa, La Kahena compellingly illustrates the diversity of this region. Tracks by traditional ensembles B?net Marrakech and Ouled Ben Aguida reflect Berber traditions. Khadija Othmani conveys the matrilineal noble culture of Algerian Tuaregs. The Gnawa master Brahim Elbelkani brings the spirit of sub-Saharan African mystic healers, originally brought to Morocco as slaves. Nadia introduces the first music Sabbah remembers hearing in his life, elegant, Andalusian songs performed at weddings and celebrations in Constantine, Algeria. And Cheba Zahouania delivers the freewheeling spirit of rai, a music born in the pleasure-loving port city of Oran, Algeria, where many Andalusians fled after their expulsion from Spain. To complete the collection, Michal Cohen, a Jewish singer of Yemenite descent, shares a song based on a poem by Shalom Shabazi, the 16th century Yemenite Jewish mystic. Recorded in studios in Marrakech, San Francisco, New York and New Delhi, Sabbah finished the sessions by adding his own "dj Science" or modern aural magic to these performances, making La Kahena a truly original and ground-breaking project the likes of which only the artistic vision of Cheb i Sabbah could have created.

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CD Reviews

La Kahena
ascent magazine | Montreal Canada | 12/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As a son seeking his mother's song, DJ Cheb I Sabbah returns to his roots in La Kahena to record the music of his homeland.
The album takes its name from the seventh-century Jewish-Berber La-Kahena: warrior, worshiper, mother of five, who gathered an army of disparate populations to ward off invading armies in their takeover of North Africa.Much like La-Kahena herself, this album merges the stories of Sufi, Jewish, Muslim and Berber peoples. Mixing live recordings taken from three continents, Cheb I Sabbah offers us eight heart-thumping tracks, which merge traditional trance with subtle contemporary beats, and offer listeners the voices of some of the most respected women singers of the Maghreb region.
Defined by tradition, these religious songs integrate the use of the call and response. This calling out is no longer confined within the circle of singers, but acts as a common ground between traditions. Ultimately, these songs are Cheb I Sabbah's contribution to a more integrative inter-faith dialogue.
Stocked with rare recordings, the album opens with the solo voice of Algerian-born Cheba Zahouania, calling on the name of Cheb I Sabbah's birthplace. La Kahena includes such groups as Haddrates, a group of Moroccan women who chant traditional Sufi music in praise of the prophet Mohammed. It also captures two haunting songs by Khadija Othmani, singing "Alkher Illa Doffor - Peace is Found behind the Wounds" and "Ad Izayanugass - What Will Happen Will Happen." The album even grants us a taste of singer-songwriter Michal Cohen, performing "Im Ninalou" in Hebrew.
Cheb I Sabbah shifts away from the typical DJ'd world beats, which veil the spiritual truth of the music by concealing it under chronic drum and bass effects. Despite the mixing, the recordings on La Kahena maintain their authenticity and the chants retain their inherently hypnotic effect.
Unlike his first three albums, Cheb I Sabbah does little to modify the live recordings; instead he allows them to unfold and interact with each other. One track bleeds into the next, songs blend, voices merge and retract.
These echoing chants haunt me. I wonder at the commonalities between cultures, the possibilities of uniting people by acknowledging the roots we share. This record acts as both a preservation of, and doorway into, our social history. Although these songs return us to Cheb I Sabbah's ancestry, they also invite us into the presence of people united together through music. Despite the trend in world music to remix traditional songs, I welcome this electronic digression through cultural histories, and allow these songs to bring me back to the roots of trance music."
Mystically Intimate
zeriab sufi | | 06/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)


I will not take every single track to write a description about, but I prefer talking about the "project" as a whole, from the very beginning the music invades your state of mind smoothly starting from the vocals and ending up with the usual Sabbah's humming BASS.
It's an amalgam between folkloric waltz and temporary melodic techniques, but still it's an introduction for the western audience in the first step, for if we want to be fair, it does not totally reflect the soul of the Arabian music, that's not a point of weakness, but it's more like an introduction for it, and I disagree with the reviewer who wanted to picture it as an African groove, and I wish that in the next Sabbah's "project" we will be able to hear more of Persian, Turkish, Hebraic and Arabian harmonies (A dialogue between a Santour, Sez , Tabla and Oud)!.
If you are interested in the global cultural communication, buy this CD for its inspirational musical offering.
Gerry | Los Angeles, CA | 05/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having previously loved "Krishna Lila" and "As Far As" I was impressed by Cheb's capabilities as a DJ/producer. Simply put, this CD is mindblowing!! It grabs you from the first track by Cheba Zahounia and her powerful voice and does not let up throughout the entire CD. Virtually every album I own (including many classic recordings) can't maintain their level of production excellence throughout. This one is that rare exception. It covers an amazing variety of styles from the Maghreb and is the very definition of the word "synthesis." I have yet to find an album from the world music genre which gracously brings together such traditional sounds and lyrics and maintains the regions style and classicism. I have heard of the
legendary group B'Net Marrkech, but to hear them on such a forward thinking and "modern" album blew me away....imagine a group of older Arabic women, covered in their traditional wear, singing such powerful words from eras gone. Now comes along Cheb i Sabbah who brings an old world to a new era. You must sample
tracks 3, 7, 8 which are my faves!"