A howl of Arabpean rage set to fuck-you rock and roll. TÈkitoi? confirms Rachid Taha’s status as one of the most important rebel voices in Europe and the Middle East.
This release comes with a DVD, Kienes?, which shows Rachid Taha touring Mexico, adding to his extensive hat collection and evading labels for his music whether they are the eurocentric ‘world’ (“a label for shopkeepers”) or the more precise but inaccurate ‘rai’. Jokingly, Rachid claims to be more Rai Cooder or Rai Orbison than anything else and maintains convincingly that if his music is anything it is the expression of rock ‘n’ roll as voiced by a European/Arabic/Muslim.
Spending his early years in Algeria, Rachid has allowed the sounds and instrumentation of his first homeland to pervade his music but the base is distinctly rock and punk and his attitude is even more so.
He makes the connection with bands like The Clash even more apparent with his cover of ‘Rock The Casbah’. He reclaims the Casbah for its occupants in a convincing way. Joe Strummer would have approved of the Casbah Strikes Back.
The album is challenging and diverse. At times rather traditional as on the beautiful ‘Lli Fat Mat’ or ‘Yah Rayat’, it is at others bordering on heavy metal or leftfield electro like ‘Voila Voila’. Lyrically, his major concerns are the perfidious nature of politicians and others in authority. Like The Clash, Rachid Taha is an intuitive anarchist with a mischievous wit and a line in multilingual, border-crossing tunes.
With a 21-year-old association with ex-Gong man Steve Hillage, it is no surprise that Rachid is open to a vast array of styles and this album is only the latest in his substantial body of work. It is also, though, his breakthrough album for new audiences outside his established base and the occasion of an exhausting world tour.
This is Rachid’s year and the result has been one of the highest selling records in Europe. His current mission is to “grab audiences”, and TÈkitoi? is the perfect vehicle for this terrain. it is a reinforced musical humvee heading towards the musical checkpoints with no intention of stopping.
Released on Wrasse Records in the UK – look out for the DVD edition
Rachid Taha website
Wrasse Records website