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2008 - week 5, from 2 Feb - Moroccan soundtrack

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:02 pm
by Charlie
Seq Artist Song Title Album Country Label Cat no

1 - Nancy Ajram - Ana Batdallaa Aaleik (I'm just teasing you) - Best of Nancy Ajram, Vol 2 - Lebanon - (unknown label)

2 - Think of One - Gnawa Power - Camping Shaâbi - Belgium/ Morocco - Crammed Discs - CRAW 42

3 - Souad Massi - Yemma - Deb - Algeria - Wrasse - Wrass 096

4 - Anouar Brahim - Ashkabad - Sastrajan Café - Tunis/Turkey - ECM - ECM 1718

5 - Ouadaden - unknown title - Live at Agadir Municipal Theatre - Morocco - (unknown label)

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This is becoming an annual event, following a holiday trip to Morocco with a programme playing some of the music heard in taxi CD players, in street stalls, restaurants and out in the streets.

Having enjoyed the wisdom and calm manner of a Mercedes taxi driver called Hicham last year, we took his number and called in advance this year to ask if he could take us up to a tiny Berber village in the High Atlas, where a Swiss woman has created a magical hostel with candle light and a log fire in the dining room. As we set off from Marrakech, Hicham slipped a CD into the player and the unmistakable intro of ‘Dreamer’ by Supertramp had me crying for mercy.

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Nancy Ajram

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A case of mistaken identity - not Nancy Ajram
(see correspondence below)

Hicham calmed me down by playing The Best of Nancy Ajram for the next ninety minutes. The Lebanese singer is the most popular star of the entire Middle East and Maghreb at the moment, with countless blogs and chat-rooms discussing the latest instalment in her series of plastic surgery operations. No matter, she starts this week’s show with one of her biggest hits. [Many thanks to Sam Farah of the Middle East World Service for providing the English translation of the title.]

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David Bovée of Think of One

I confess that I didn’t hear Think of One in Morocco. The Belgian group’s brand new album was in the first packet opened when I got back home, but some of it was recorded in Marrakech with several local singers and musicians. ‘Gnawa Power’ is the most Moroccan-sounding track on the album, which otherwise features the voices of group leader David Bovée more than usual.

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Souad Massi

There’s a CD stall in Essaouira run by a young man called Yusuf who really knows his music, and I make a point of going to hear what he’s playing each time I visit. His taste ranges through most of Africa, and it’s normal to hear Tinariwen, Cesaria Evora, Lucky Dube and Rachid Taha all in the same hour. This time he was playing Souad Massi, whose songs sounded very clear and unique. As the best of them are.

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Anouar Brahim

There’s an alley in Essaouira with four restaurants all offering very similar menus, where you sit on benches and bend over your dishes set on tables as low as your knees. The best is run by an eccentric German who wears a baseball hat several sizes too big for him, so it more or less covers his entire head. His food is always good and tasted all the better when accompanied by the entire length of Anouar Brahim’s album, Astrakan Café. I’ve always liked the second of two versions of the title track, the one featuring the Turkish clarinettist Barbaros Eköse, but this time my ear was caught by another tune that also features him, Ashkabad.

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Carpet shop in Essaouria

When I asked Yusuf for a CD by Berber musicians, he didn’t have a great range, and this one by Ouadaden was the best of what he had, while not being quite as good as the songs I heard coming out of the houses in that village in the High Atlas.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:45 pm
by Roger Bradley
Another good piece by Anouar Brahem.

Might be nice to follow it by returning to the 1993 Real World album 'Ashkhabad: City of Love'?

Over the years track 3, 'Bayaty', has remained one of my all-time favourites. Deliciously "world" but recorded in Wiltshire.

Ouadaden & Nancy Ajram

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:20 am
by Alan
The Ouadaden track could be Anigh yan iguider gh wafa ujarifi – there’s some nice footage at http://tinyurl.com/ywg9sl

and there’s a track by Nancy Ajram on the album Ah W Noss (IRS 618683010027) called Baddalaa Aleyk [Playing Hard to Get], which sounds like it might be the same as the one you played

Time to check out those EasyJet flights to Marrakesh…

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:19 am
by Gordon Neill
Charlie whimpered:

As we set off from Marrakech, Hicham slipped a CD into the player and the unmistakable intro of ‘Dreamer’ by Supertramp had me crying for mercy.


Now there's a theme for a show. Taxi driver music. The stuff that people really listen to when there's no foreigners around! Supertramp, Abba, Clodagh Rogers....

PS However, I did still love this week's show. I must investigate Anouar Brahem. Never heard him before.

Music for Maids and Taxi Drivers

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:32 am
by Charlie
Gordon Neill wrote:Now there's a theme for a show. Taxi driver music.

Back in the late 1980s, when Ben Mandelson was in northern Brazil looking for material to include on a compilation of local music for Globestyle Records, he asked somebody where he might find some suitable records, and the rejoinder was, why are you are interested in that music, that's music for maids and taxi drivers? Which gave Ben the title of the album. Thanks for reminding me of it - I must dig it out and play a track.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:35 am
by Gordon Neill
Charlie mentioned:

Music for maids and taxi drivers


Ah. I'd forgotten about that as well. One of my favourite Forro collections. I must go and dig it out.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:51 am
by Con Murphy
Gordon Neill wrote:I must investigate Anouar Brahem. Never heard him before.


You might find this earlier forum discussion helpful:-

http://www.charliegillett.com/phpBB2/vi ... php?t=4129

I forgot to remember to forget

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:01 am
by Gordon Neill
Con pointed out that:

We had a conversation about him before


My memory isn't that great. So my first thought was that I'd simply forgotten the Anouar Brahem conversation. But now I'm really getting worried. I can't even remember which Gordon I am. I could have sworn I was the other one :-)

Unless, of course, by 'we' you meant t'Forum in general. I'll try and remember and not jump to conclusions.

Re: I forgot to remember to forget

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:26 am
by Con Murphy
Gordon Neill wrote:Con pointed out that:

We had a conversation about him before


My memory isn't that great. So my first thought was that I'd simply forgotten the Anouar Brahem conversation. But now I'm really getting worried. I can't even remember which Gordon I am. I could have sworn I was the other one :-)

Unless, of course, by 'we' you meant t'Forum in general. I'll try and remember and not jump to conclusions.


Sorry, I meant the forum generally. Original message above duly edited.

emails

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:38 am
by Charlie
emails from:

1. mike ormsby, Town: Bucharest, Romania

I woke up the other night with one of your tunes in my ear-buds, I'd fallen asleep in the early hours listening to the prog. The tune was 'Yemma' by Souad Massi. What a voice, what a track, makes me cry and I don't know why. What's she singing about, any idea? Keep up the good work.

Mike

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CG

In keeping with their regular custom, The UK record label Wrasse provide lyric translations for all the songs. In this one, Souad tells her mother everything is fine, while failing to say that she is lying, it's freezing cold and she is lonely for her homeland.

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2. John, Dallas, Texas, USA

I *loved* the last song in Gillett's program. It was so evocative, I felt like I was in the sun-kissed coast of Morocco. Where can I buy this song/album?

Thanks for playing such great music.

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3. Sinabulya Mark, Kampala, Uganda

just wanted to say, thank you Charlie and the B.B.C for the soulful and very unique music played on world of music, it's great, relaxing and out of this world, I never miss the programme. Keep it up and play on.

Sinabulya Mark

Who nose?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:49 pm
by CantSleepClownsWillGetMe
Erm ... Charlie, I just wanted to say I'm pretty sure that photo you have of 'Nancy Ajram' isn't her. Even allowing for the possibility that she's had another chunk lopped off the end of her nose, Nancy has a pronounced widow's peak on her hairline, she always wears blue contacts (unless THOSE are natural!) and she has a very squared-off chin.

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I reckon if she's forked out good money to look like that other pic, she should ask for a refund :-)

June

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:10 pm
by Gordon Neill
I dunno. Charlie did say that Nancy was keen on plastic surgery. So it might just be a timing thing. And I think you need to make some allowances for different camera angles, the passage of time, surgeons' screwdrivers, polyfiller, hair dye, chisels, and several layers of make up. Maybe she had her widow's peak shaved?

And, if she isn't Nancy Ajram, who is the other woman? Is she just made up of Nancy's leftovers?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:56 am
by howard male
I'm with Gordon on this one - you can tell by the mouth that it's the same woman. Scary what them there surgeons can do!

'The dame in the frame caper' OR 'It's a stitch up'

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:22 am
by Gordon Neill
Howard claimed:

I'm with Gordon on this one - you can tell by the mouth that it's the same woman.


Now Howard. I didn't say that she was the same woman. I just expressed some scepticism about June's wild allegations. But, at the risk of getting splinters in my bum, I was careful to stay firmly on the fence.

And quite right, as it turns out. There's been a breakthrough in the case. Some information has come into my hands (shoved through my letterbox by someone who appeared to be wearing a curly wig, a red nose, and unfeasibly long shoes). I give you.... Exhibit A:

http://www.nogomi.com/news.asp?id=463_

This is clearly the same woman as in Charlie's photo. indeed, it is the same photo. But look closely. Her name is Rola Saad, not Nancy Ajram. Indeed - irony of ironies - the poor woman actually claims not to be guilty of being Nancy Ajram. And, I suspect, it is these pleadings of innocence that has been her downfall, attracting the attention of Charlie's search engine. And, like so many DJs over the years, in his rush to get a conviction, Charlie has harshly ignored the poor woman's claims and just put her in the frame. Saadly, it's a stitch up.

True, this Rola Saad does have form. She is a singer. But she is clearly not guilty of singing Nancy Ajram songs. Mistaken identity. Case closed.

Re: 'The dame in the frame caper' OR 'It's a stitch up'

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:10 pm
by Charlie
Gordon Neill wrote:Case closed.

Indeed it is, apologies all round and much applause for June's sharp eyes.

I was prepared to believe these cosmetic butchers can achieve miracles, but June understand there are limits to their wizardry.

I have amended the photo accordingly, but have left the imposter in place or this whole correspondence would not have made sense.