Ahhh..why has it taken me so long to share this song?? I thought I had featured the wonders of Mazouni many weeks ago, but I haven’t it would seem!! So here goes! One thing’s for sure, I’m not spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning tunage, there’s much to discover here and everything I’ve heard so far has been an utter delight..this is gorgeous!!
Mohamed Mazouni is an Algerian singer-songwriter and producer who was born in Blida ( a city in Algeria) in 1940. His prolific song writing extended over many years, in which time he embraced both the power of love (in his ballads) and political unrest – with songs about exile. He also denounced racism and the appalling condition of immigrant workers, but the contrast in the topics he covered never gave either extreme any less significance. He sang in classical or dialectal Arabic as much as in French, English and Kabyl and unified a mix of local styles throughout his compositions. His poetic “Francarabe” songs (a unique strange mix of French and Arabic lyrics) swung between hope, joy and frustration as he recalled the life of an Algerian immigrant of the first generation in the France of the ‘70s.
In 1969 he emigrated to France and left his native country to work over a decade’s worth of recording in Paris, where the Paris/Arab continuum was stronger than ever after the Algerian war – and the music of Mazouni was a key sound of that moment, with songs that drew heavily on the elements of his roots. Little did he realise when he left Algeria that he was about to become an idolised star within the immigrant community. Through various French labels he released his music throughout the latter part of the 60’s and all of the 1970’s, until he decided to returned to Algeria in the 80’s to continue his musical career there….and ever since his return he has never stopped writing and composing songs, all orientated around his love for Algeria.
In May 2019 French label, Born Bad Records released a compilation of Mohamed Mazouni tracks entitled, “UN DANDY EN EXIL – Algérie / France – 1969/1982”. This album is the first ever compilation of his songs to be issued and features some previously unreleased songs too!
Je pense à celle featured in this collection, but was originally released as the b-side to one of his early 45’s (b/w Dis moi c’est pas vrai) but as of yet I’ve been unable to discover the original release date? This track is the grooviest ear worm ever, and has this wondrous feeling of being thrown together quite rustically as a twangy tune plays out with a whistling accompaniment and the drums roll and patter in the background with a desirable organic rawness. It’s a little beauty for sure!! I love it!
Check it out above and if you like this, I think (like me) you will love the rest of the compilation and, indeed, the whole of his repertoire!…and should you ever be lucky enough to stumble upon today’s song in its original form, expect to part with a couple of hundred quid! Listen/purchase the Born Bad’s compilation, here. Enjoy!!
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Magic! Glad you like! 🙂