martedì 7 maggio 2013

Abdel Ali Slimani عبد العلي سليماني

Biography by Andy Morgan, June 2003:If Lindsay Anderson were ever to remake his 1960s Brit-film classic ‘Oh Lucky Man’ and set it in the multicultural soup of modern London, then Ali Slimani would be the perfect central hero. Born and raised in the shadow of Algeria’s national football stadium in a respectable suburb of the capital Algiers, Slimani bucked the trend amongst his fellow Algerian youth by boarding a magic bus bound for England rather than France in his early twenties. He arrived in the murky smoke of the capital during the depression of the early 1980s and proceeded to play the immigrants’ poker game of survival; washing up, bartending, struggling with the language and the unfamiliar ways. His luck began to turn when he started to DJ at North African community weddings and fiestas, rolling out the latest rai and chaabi sounds drifting over from Algeria. Luck played a decisive hand when Slimani was asked to DJ at a concert given by rai superstars Cheb Sahraoui and Chaba Fadela at the Empire in Leicester Square. This prime slot started a chain reaction which bought him to the attention of Jah Wobble’s manager, and after a quick audition during which he was asked to sing Algerian football songs, Slimani joined Wobble’s band the Invaders of the Heart. After four fun-filled years touring the world Slimani took his leave of the Wobble express and recorded his first solo album ‘Mraya’ which was released on Real World Records. He was also invited to join Sinead O’Connor on Top of the Pops, thereby becoming the first Arab to penetrate that bastion of British popular culture. Five long years of touring and label searching followed, ending with the release of Slimani’s latest solo CD ‘Espoir’ on Harmonia Mundi Records, an album which faithfully showcases his mix of new electronic sounds and old Algerian pop, rai and Kabyle sounds. “’Espoir’ means ‘hope’,” says Slimani. “It’s the hope for peace in my country. There’s no other way. Peace between us is very very important.”Biography by Andy Morgan supplied by management, March 2003:Ali Slimani Survival is all about attitude, about winning friends rather than making enemies and about creating your own positive halo of goodwill under which your talents can thrive. Ali Slimani, who came to London from his native Algeria as an unknown hopeful a decade and a half ago, knows this instinctively. His musical talents and good-natured survival skills have bought him a helter-skelter ride to success, first as a DJ and percussionist, then as a singer and bandleader. His instinct for innovation has produced some of the most challenging music to come out of the North African scene in recent years, in which dub, electronica, hip hop and house are fused with Algerian rai, chaabi, Sahraoui and Kabyle in a totally fresh and unique way.In the five years since his acclaimed debut album ‘Mraya’ was released on Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records, Ali Slimani has kept afloat through highs and lows, touring ceaselessly, creating connections and broadening horizons. After a grinding search for a record deal Ali Slimani has finally found a fitting ally in Mustapha Terki, a French-North African-Canadian music entrepreneur with a sharp instinct for talent and trail-blazing Arab electronica. With the help of producer Veronica Ferraro, who has already fashioned soulful pop gemstones for artists as varied as Alannah Miles, Faudel, Wyclef Jean, Amina and Nass El Ghiwane, as well as Diane Pinet of Bloc Notes music publishers, who did so much to help the project bud and flower, Slimani is releasing a brand new album called ‘Espoir’ on Harmonia Mundi Records. ‘Espoir’ means ‘Hope’. “It’s the hope for peace in my country,” he explains. “I really want peace to come back one day, inshallah. Because there’s no other way. Peace between us is very important…..VERY important.”Ali Slimani was born and raised in El Anasser, a quiet and neatly respectable suburb of the Algerian capital Algiers which is home to the huge 20 Août football stadium where the young Slimani used to power the chants on the terraces with his derbouka, or Arabic drum. Although his parents wanted him to become a doctor or lawyer, Ali Slimani fell developed a passion for music and the sounds of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Alpha Blondy, Boney M and the Bee Gees. He also inherited a deep love for the heroes of the popular traditional music of Algiers, which is called chaabi, men like Dahmane El Harrachi and Mohammed El Hadj El Anka. Then of course there was rai. Like every other Algerian teenager Ali fell under the spell of the plain speaking, tough living heroes of rai music from Oran; Cheb Khaled, Cheb Hamid, Cheikha Remitti and Cheb Abdelhak etc. “The words were so important,” Slimani explains. “With rai you can sing about what you want, problems, women, love, no job. For my family the words were very bad and out of respect I couldn’t listen to rai music at home at that time. We used to go off with my friends to the beach to listen to it instead.”Whilst busking near Sacré Cœur in Paris during a summer holiday in the early 1980s, Ali Slimani got chatting to an English girl who inspired him to go to London and after a two year stretch of military service in the Algerian infantry, he finally made it to the English capital. It was a very strange choice of destination for a young Algerian at that time. Life was hard at first, with menial jobs and language problems, but eventually Slimani started to make himself an envious reputation as a rai DJ, with regular slots at the HQ in Camden and the Orange Club in west Kensington as well as plenty of work in the North African wedding party circuit. As his notoriety grew he was asked to audition for Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart, who were looking for percussionist and singer to replace Natasha Atlas. Percussion wasn’t a problem but Slimani had never thought of himself as a singer. But something clicked and Jah Wobble was seduced by his skills and easygoing manner. For four headlong years, Ali Slimani became part of the epoch making Invaders of the Heart, touring the globe, taking globally flavoured dub inspiration to the corners of the earth and eventually recording of ‘Mraya’, a landmark of modern rai-dub in which the whole Invaders of the heart crew – Jah Wobble, Sinead O’Connor, Justin Adams et al – played their part. In the wake of the album’s success, Ali Slimani was asked to contribute vocals to Sinead O’Connor’s hit ‘Fire On Babylon’ and even appeared on Top of The Pops with the baldhead Irish diva, the first Arabic singer ever to penetrate this bastion of British Pop.The real test of Ali Slimani’s mettle as a musician came when he went solo after The Invaders of the Heart. There’s no denying that times were tough and that Slimani needed all the survival instinct in his bones to keep carrying on. But all those years of hard work, hard touring and hard searching have paid off with the release of ‘Espoir’. “I think it’s better that I waited,” says Slimani. “I found the right people to work with and that’s important. When I met the producer Veronica Ferraro I said, “Ok, we’re going to do this album and we’ll do songs in nearly all the different styles from Algeria so it’ll be for everybody! That way it’ll be nicer.” Sure enough, ‘Espoir’ features a myriad of different styles from Algeria, all of which have been given an modern and unashamedly electronic makeover. Most of the material on the album was composed by Ali Slimani himself in partnership with other long-time musical collaborators like fellow Algerian Yazid Fentazi from the group Fantazia, a multi-instrumentalist, music obsessive and all round creative genius or the guitarist and producer Justin Adams, who is currently a cornerstone of Robert Plant’s new band. There are songs rooted in the urban chaabi tradition of Algiers like ‘Lirah’ and ‘Oulah Manansak’. There’s a song called ‘Elho’ from the Berber region of Kabylia, arranged by Slimani and Fentazi who is a Kabyle himself. ‘Sur La Route de Tamanrasset’ is inspired by Sahraoui music from the deepest Sahara but was recorded in deepest Hackney, London. ‘Moi et Toi’ is a raï song about cultural conflicts in man-woman relationships. ‘El Arabia’ is an Arabic dub song co-written with Slimani’s long time friend Rootsman from Bradford.Peace, hope and cooperation – these aren’t joke words, especially if you come from Algeria. Ali Slimani has brought together some of the greatest talents in North African music – Natacha Atlas, rapper Clotaire K, Yazid Fentazi, and singer Selma, whose husband was a victim of Algeria’s civil violence – to help him make an album that celebrates hope for a brighter future and for basic human understanding, rare commodities in these darkening times. “When I look at Algeria in the last ten years, if you wanna know the truth, I feel bad,” he says. “I cry, cry for my country. But hopefully it will get better, because it’s God’s will. Algeria will come back.”Rai is the music of a rebellion. In Algeria in the late seventies, the underground youth culture centred around the high energy, dance-based, hedonistic sounds of rai. Caught between encroaching fundamentalism and a repressive government, young people gathered in tents in the desert to dance, to go celebrate and to briefly escape from the powers of authority. The 16-year old Abdel Ali Slimani was taken to one of these "cabarets" by a friend. On stage, Cheb Khaled, who was to become one of rai's superstars, was performing. "For me, it was like a gunshot. Boom! So different to what I'd heard before. People smoking, drinking, belly dancing. And his voice! Brilliant! He had songs about love. Problems in the family. And drinking. It was really rebellious." Since those days, Ali has lived in Paris and London. He built up a collection of rai music, playing at Algerian weddings and world beat club nights. After playing a sensational show at the Empire, Leicester Square, he was contacted by Jah Wobble's manager, and three weeks later was the singer for the Invaders of the Heart band, contributing to the classic 'Take Me To God' album. Now he has released his own album, 'Mraya' (mirror), on Real World Records. The euphoric rebellion of rai is there but fused with the bass of Jah Wobble and decorated with textures from western musical styles, especially dub. It's an uplifting sound - sweeps of orchestration scurry across a strong beat, whilst Ali's voice pulls your arms into the air and sets you dancing. Ethereal backing vocals are added on a couple of the tracks by Sinead O'Connor and Natacha Atlas, giving a sultry, mystical feel. All in all, whether live or on CD, Abdel Ali Slimani is a treat for those yearning for something more than formulaic Western pop.

(Source :

Abdel Ali Slimani عبد العلي سليماني Mraya مرآة

1. Laziza
2. Habibti
3. Zeyna
4. Mraya
5. Yasmin
6. Alger
7. Hadi
8. Ana Guellile
9. Ana Guellile Dub

 Abdel Ali Slimani عبد العلي سليماني espoir

1 Moi et Toi
2 S'habi
3 Intro Quanu
4 Mon Destin
5 Lirah
6 Oulah Manansak
7 Elho
8 Espoir
9 El-Arabia
10 Oullaouliya
11 La Route de Tamanrasset
12 S'habi Remix

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