first up, chaabi, because we miss Barcelona. I’m reading a book with a character named Thomas Lull and I keep thinking it should be Llull. This will make sense if you’ve lived there for awhile. I love the double ‘ll’ in Catalan, words like Llum (light), also a woman’s name. I’ll be playing a 2-hour set at the free SONAR party next Tuesday, will sneak in some Barcelona Maghrebi stuff.

[audio: Laaroussi – Chaabi.mp3]

Abdelhak Laaroussi – ?

Then, eastward. This is the sound of reggada thinking about itself, with hesitation and repetition, probably the way we all think about ourselves. Structurally ripe for DJ use.


Reggada Instrumental

And a less existential reggada song, unselfconscious. From ‘La Nouvelle Génération’, a comp CD I picked up in Bay Ridge (Brooklyn):


Kirat – Mamma


13 thoughts on “REGGADA LLUMINOSA”

  1. Oh you are reading River of the Gods. How is it? I’ve only read Terminal Cafe years ago and was not impressed, but I’ve heard McDonald’s recent stuff is better.

  2. yes, that’s the one. its quite accomplished but… very much in a gibsonian mode, too much. loose net of characters slowly tightens as some tech-driven Thing/Situation with WorldWide Import looms, each chapter cross-cuts to dif character. India is the backdrop, which is a nice shift, and a few funny jabs as xenophobic americans acknowledge it.

    but what’s really blowing my mind now is Uzumaki by Junji Ito.

  3. I’ve not read that either, but Museum of Terror (Tomie in Japan, I think) is great stuff.

  4. Wow – fantastic selections on this post! I’ve never read Uzumaki, but couldn’t really recommend the movie (although lots of other folks would). Then again, I’m sort of a snob about Japanese horror flicks 😐

  5. im entering book 3 of Uzumaki — it’d be nearly impossible to make a decent movie out of it, no surprise if the film version is a flop.

  6. Well, that makes sense. The director’s first work is also hailed, but the production values are so low that it’s laughable.

    Great premise, awful execution:

    “Strange things lurk in dreams. For Mukoda Tetsurou and the doctors tending to him, things have begun to get stranger as Mukoda begins having longer and longer dreams every night. Can one dream infinity in the span of a night?”

  7. So, a more relevant question: How would you define Reggada? Like Auto-tune Maghreb? Is it a Moroccan-only style or a Paris- Barcelona-emigre sound? I know it’s a broad question, but the web is kind of silent on it and my Arabic-aficionado friends in Tokyo (EL Sur Records folks) can’t really explain it…

    Thanks! john r

  8. Reggada’s different than the rai or Berber pop you may have heard on here most notably because of the rhythm. Unlike the other two, it’s always in four, not three or six. The drumming’s heavier and, kind of like the dembow in reggaeton, generally quite characteristic (I can reproduce it with my mouth, but not typing or with musicologicicicicical counting). The singing is quite different too, more call and response/groove-based than rai (which, of course, is not unique to Morocco). And it’s always sung in Arabic, unlike the other two. Also, the main non-vocal melodies are usually either on synths or wind instruments and not string instruments. That’s all I can think of right now, but there’s definitely lots of other stuffs I’m forgetting.

  9. Ah, two big disclaimers btw:

    1) I may be COMPLETELY wrong about the always in Arabic thing
    2) I listen to a lot of reggada, but it’s still completely likely that I’ve got no clue wtf I’m talking about.

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