Cheb Mami as a carrier of modernity (thanks DJ E3!)


Cheb Mami & K-Maro – Nos Couleurs

I have tried – apparently not hard enough – to find a good source for new Arabic music in NYC. I miss raï! Sheesha bars in Bay Ridge? no problem. Egyptian kebab vendors who make me return to upper-midtown at odd hours to sell me CD-rs & then forget to bring them? Yes. Lemeni bodega owners in Chelsea who tell me all the good music is online, free!, and want to burn me some of it, if only Vista would let them? Sadly, yes. Dusty Lebanese-run cassette shops with Oum, Fairuz, and phonecards? of course. but rai? Not in my path. At least not yet. sigh.

I miss it extra now that crunk has raised/lowered the global synth game stakes! plus, autotune. Nobody autotunes harder than the north Africans.


Houari Manar feat Mafia De La Rue – Hya


thanks to everyone who came out for the west coast shows: team hug!

I learned something new on this trip: POWELL’S CITY OF BOOKS. large and independent — no, LARGEST — the largest indy used & new bookstore in the world… simply incredible. ( “rad” as the PDX folk like to say.)

if yr in Portland, I recommend the Atlas party. Find Ez & shout “more reggada!”


[Atlas crew: The Incredible Kid, Anjali, DJ E3]

5 thoughts on “CRUNK RAI”

  1. Jace, it was nice to meet you in Portland. Amazing that it has been five years between your visits. Funnily enough, the two residents of Atlas who aren’t E3 are also long-time Powell’s Books employees.

    Thanks for the shoutout. Atlas will be celebrating its five year anniversary in November.


  2. glad you had fun in portland, Your set was real good at holocene. Powells is the largest in the world? Damn i was thinking it was just the biggest on the west coast. Come back soon!

  3. yep, gotta agree with this autotune statement. just came back from morrocco where a 10 hour bus drive was soundtracked non-stop autotune rai… long term exposure has strange lasting effects on the mind

  4. try steinway in astoria for good arabic tunes. i spotted a little rai there today, a lot of classical egyptian and lebanese, some remix stuff, and of course all the rotana pop ish.

    nile deli on steinway b/w 28th and 25th has a ton of cassettes and cds right by the olive oil.

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