Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Vinyl Review: "Je Suis Africain" by Rachid Taha

Je Suis Africain
Let's talk for a moment about today's subject. Rachid Taha has shuffled off this mortal coil.

Just days before his 60th birthday, he died after suffering a heart attack in his sleep.

This album was completed before his untimely death.

 That means we're not looking a posthumously completed record like Experience Hendrix has been doing for the past 20 plus years...

You know how artists tend to get really popular upon their demise?

Chalk me up into that group, because this is my first time having heard Taha.

Considering the standard fare covered here on Glacially Musical, it's possible that it's all of my readers' first times as well, but if you could consider Alex Skolnick's world music record, you may just find something here too....

Rachid Taha
The vinyl reviews typically seem to be lacking in what I'd consider my favorite kind of music, underground extreme metal. It's still strange to me, but there's something really cool about that for me...

My vinyl library is far different than my digital library, it's far more indicative of what I listen to on a daily basis.

 Sure there's some crazy metal, but there's also acoustic guitar albums, folk songs, banjo black metal, and yes, world music.

So, it's not hard for me to find something to love in the Taha album. What is hard for me is to tell you all about it and give you the picture in your head that I think you need.

Imagine you've settled into your theater seat to enjoy the newest movie set in Saharan Africa.

 Then you see the opening sequence. There's a lot of action straight away to get you stuck into the film immediately.

That's the rock song. As Ansit played, that's what I saw. It felt like there was going to be a lot to love about this album in a conventional way, but the record kept spinning and showing me different scenes in this movie.

It doesn't touch much on that rock again, but it's suspenseful and engrossing.

Sometimes, Taha is scoring a spaghetti western and others he's apparently just turned off an Almodovar movie...though he said he preferred dumb American movies.

Perhaps his intellectual music is what led him to that feeling. There are times when you've just go to turn your brain off and enjoy the moment.

Je Suis Africain is full of those moments to enjoy. Being as the album is basically in French, I can't really pick up on any of it.

I'm watching a movie in a foreign language minus the subtitles. You listen to it and tell me what you see.

This album is a masterclass in how to track your record. Even though I can't understand the words, it still speaks to me and still shows me pictures in my head.

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