Thursday, May 12, 2011

Speaking in Tongues: Rock el Casbah

Rachid Taha: Rock el Casbah


I’m cheating a bit with this post. Looking at the title of the song, you might think the cheat is the fact that the title is not entirely in another language. In fact, I’m OK there. Rock in Arabic, when it refers to music, is rock, and Casbah is a place name that comes out the same in many languages. The cheat has to do with the informal rule we have at Star Maker, that songs must date from before 2000. There has always been some give there, and this one is from 2004. If you have never heard Rock el Casbah, you must. You probably know the song, but not like this. Rachid Taha is from Algeria, and he is a star in the Arab world. The music he makes is called Rai, and it is a mixture of rock energy with more traditional sounds of Arab music. Rock el Casbah was an inspired choice, not only for Rai fans, but also for introducing this music to the rest of the world.

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