28/03/2007

Gnawa Diffusion - Algeria (1997)

If there’s a group that I could choose as a symbol of what I’m trying to promote here in Babe(b)logue, well, this is Gnawa Diffusion. The success of their politically engaged cultural métissage testifies that music, as a form of art able to speak directly to the heart of the people, can still contribute to the betterment of our tiny, bellicose world. The album posted here is their wonderful 1997 debut, which sports the first version of one of the best pop songs of the last ten years, the gorgeous «Ombre-elle» (listen to it in the «Tapas» box). Ah! Je voudrais être un fauteuil dans un salon de coiffure pour dames pour que le fesses des belles âmes s’écrasent contre mon orgueil…

«The members of Gnawa Diffusion, who are based in Grenoble in the South East of France, come from a rich mix of musical and cultural backgrounds. Fusing their individual influences into a collective sound, Gnawa Diffusion have woven elements of rap, ragga, jazz, reggae and rai into a vibrant musical patchwork. The group's name is a reference to the Gnawa, a tribe from Western Sudan who were deported to North Africa in the 16th century by the rulers of Fes and Algiers. While the Gnawa were officially converted to Islam by their new masters, they continued to worship their own African gods in private. The way Gnawa Diffusion see it, this historic tale of people uprooted from their homeland and forced to begin a new life in a foreign land, is remarkably similar to the lives of modern-day immigrants growing up in France. Indeed, the group's lead singer, Amezigh, son of the famous Algerian writer Kateb Yacine, considers himself to be a 20th century version of the Gnawa. Amezigh, who arrived in France in 1988 at the tender age of 16, has been closely involved with the struggle to defend immigrants' rights and abolish racial prejudice. When Amezigh formed Gnawa Diffusion in 1992 he saw the group as an alternative means of getting his political message across. Amezigh, Gnawa Diffusion's lead singer and songwriter, writes his lyrics in three languages, Arabic, French and English.» (rifimusique)

«Originaire de Grenoble, né en 1992 d’un métissage franco-algérien, Gnawa Diffusion est un groupe incontournable et l’un des rares représentants sur la scène française d’une fusion au sens large. La formation emmenée par Amazigh Kateb (fils de Kateb Yacine, fondateur de la littérature algérienne moderne) est parvenue à imbriquer des éléments empruntés au raï, au rap, au reggae, voire au jazz. Gnawa fait de sa musique un chant de lutte, un combat scandé en français, en arabe et en anglais. Capables de tirer de leur sac des créations originales alliant parfaitement leurs influences autant que de remettre au goût du jour quelques titres traditionnels des contrées reculées du Soudan, ils mèlent habilement instruments traditionnels et électriques ou electroniques. Le ton des Gnawas a fait des émules des deux côtés de la Méditerranée, mais en gène certains au point que plusieurs de leurs prestations seront interdites en Algérie pour cause d’irrévérence envers le pouvoir en place. Mélange de tradition et de modernisme, entre chaâbi, raï, rap, reggae et musique orientale, la musique de Gnawa Diffusion est authentique et sans concessions.» (lefoyer.free.fr)

Gnawa Diffusion’s Official Website: http://www.gnawa-diffusion.com/

Link in comments

11 comments:

Radu said...

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=IIYF5AS2

Anonymous said...

Thanks, babe, another fine contribution. You leave me curious always about your next installment.
Thanks.

alonsii said...

K tal Radu!! Te he enviado un email al correo de tu blog! Por cierto, me gustan mucho los Gnawa, y además estoy hasta el gorro de escuchar música gnawa en mi trabajo. Los chicos bereberes no paran!!

Ciao!!

valery said...

megaupload again...:(((

brianboru said...

Merci pour ce coup de projecteur sur ce groupe pas très connu.

Radu said...

New Sharebee Link:

http://sharebee.com/4ca3d2ed

dadou3x said...

Hi

I'm from algeria,
& Gnawa Diff have a big big success

i'm lovin it

ciao

Anonymous said...

tnx bb for upload

here are covers:

http://www.megaupload.com/de/?d=TFHURWRW

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