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Cheika Rimitti, Mother of Raï
February 5, 2008 11:16 PM   Subscribe

Head over to Cheikha Rimitti's MySpace page and listen to the first tune up on her player (starts when you open the page), called Saida. Whoa! Is that badass or what? Well, there's 5 other tunes of hers there for your listening pleasure, covering a wide swath of stylistic territory within the Algerian music tradition she was such an important part of. Yet another MySpace page pays tribute (with 4 more songs!) to this powerful singer, and you can also learn more about her at the Cheikha Rimitti website, which is in French, but with links like "Musique" and "Vidéos", you shouldn't have too much trouble with it. There's an informative English-language video biography of this "Mother of Raï", not to mention this performance footage (with those fantastic flutes!) of Saida.

Another short YouTube clip.

An interview (in French) where Rimitti offers some a cappella snippets.
posted by flapjax at midnite (18 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
She's OK but when the main links in your post are a couple of myspace pages, you might be straying from "best of the Web" territory toward "your own blog"-land.
posted by dersins at 11:41 PM on February 5, 2008


My first thought...

"Woah - Britney's let herself go."

And I know, sexist, etc.. I'm gonna burn in hell
posted by seanyboy at 12:13 AM on February 6, 2008


Thanks Flapjax, it's always nice to listen to some good music from Maghreb.
posted by nicolin at 12:48 AM on February 6, 2008


Yet another great music post!
posted by Wolof at 2:02 AM on February 6, 2008


I was about to say she's no Cheb Khaled, but then I saw she's written songs for him.

Snark-blocked!
posted by JaredSeth at 3:05 AM on February 6, 2008


I was about to say she's no Cheb Khaled, but then I saw she's written songs for him.

Heh heh! Cheb Khaled's a fine singer (saw him do a sizzling show in Germany about 20 years ago), but for my money he doesn't have the depth that this woman has. There's something very core, very deep about Rimitti's voice: she doesn't soar, she's not the greatest technician, not even the most fluid, but she's got something that, for me, registers on a level of the gut, and the soul.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:21 AM on February 6, 2008


Rimitte (also spelled Remitti) is a goddess . . . one of my favorite singers of all time. Thank you! The Billie Holiday of Oran.

Khaled is a babe in the woods by comparison.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:32 AM on February 6, 2008


I love raï—thanks much for this.
posted by languagehat at 5:47 AM on February 6, 2008


This is awesome!
posted by ph00dz at 5:58 AM on February 6, 2008


dude. i most often skip myspace links....but this was incredible. look at the life evident in her eyes, on her face! what an incredible pleasure to be introduced to such stunning musich, from a mature performer, thru myspace. such a change!

thanks, flapjax. i'm off to learn more about her.

(i wonder if she's the oldest MS user??? hell, she's older than my pap!)
posted by CitizenD at 7:42 AM on February 6, 2008


I'm not sure I would describe it as badass, unless that term has taken on a drastically different meaning since I last thought about it. Since I can't understand the words, I can't really judge it on it's lyrical merits. But the beat is simple, the melody is vaguely eastern and the guitar isn't really all that earth shattering. What is the appeal?
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:38 AM on February 6, 2008


It's fucking cool to listen to, jeffamaphone, that's what. For FUCK's sake, can't we get away from Your Favourite _____ Sucks? Some of us are enjoying this. Why the need to fucking piss on everyone else, huh?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:27 AM on February 6, 2008


Yeah, the summer of 2006 was a tough one for Algerian music. Rimitti died in May ('her' Myspace page is more of a tribute page, established a couple of months later)...then Guerouabi, the living master of Chaabi music, died a couple of months later. I loved Rimitti, but it was Gueroubi that really broke my heart. For a month or so afterwards Guerouabi was all you heard on the streets of Algiers. For the uninitiated, if Rai is the music of Oran/Wahran, Chaabi is the music of the capital. Check a couple of songs here, but beware that Chaabi songs take a while to get rolling...sometimes five minutes or so. But when they do, they'll steal your heart.
posted by jackbrown at 12:50 PM on February 6, 2008


Hey, jackbrown, thanks for that Mouzzika link: what a great site!

jeffamaphone writes: I'm not sure I would describe it as badass, unless that term has taken on a drastically different meaning since I last thought about it.

To assume that any qualifier (wonderful, horrible, badass, whatever) would have a fixed and absolute "meaning" is laughable. One man's "badass" is another man's "I don't get it", as is so clearly demonstrated by your comment. As it happens, I consciously used the term "badass" in this FPP as a descriptor for a female singer (not, you know, Eric Clapton, dude) from a musical tradition that is also generally not described in those terms. But for me, she's badass. For you she's not. Fine, no problem.

But this:

the beat is simple, the melody is vaguely eastern and the guitar isn't really all that earth shattering.

That's just plain ignorant, brother. You should probably go back to your Ted Nugent or whatever!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:12 PM on February 6, 2008


JaredSeth: "I was about to say she's no Cheb Khaled, but then I saw she's written songs for him.

Snark-blocked!
"

She created Rai so to speak, so Khaled can kiss her feet.
posted by zouhair at 3:46 PM on February 6, 2008


Relax people. I was actually curious and hoping someone here would educate me. I am ignorant of this music, which is why I commented. I gave my impression after listening to it.

If nobody here actually wants to enlighten me as to the actual merits of the music, fine. Feel free to continue making assumptions about what I listen to and my general intellect level.

I can play that game too: Obviously you are all just a bunch of acid tripping hippies who like to space out listening to repetitive eastern trance crap. Not a music theorist among you. Sorry to come in here and bum your trip.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:21 AM on February 7, 2008


That's just like, your opinion, man.
posted by ph00dz at 5:41 AM on February 7, 2008


Sorry to come in here and bum your trip.

S'okay! You didn't bum my trip. Takes a lot more than that to bum my trip!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:34 AM on February 7, 2008


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