Zoom by Rachid Taha

Rachid Taha, born in Algeria but who spent his formative years in France, has made a string of very good albums combining North African sounds with Western-style rock. His last album from 2009, Bonjour, was a very laid back and disappointing affair, but Taha is back on track with Zoom. The album was produced by Justin Adams, a guitarist for Robert Plant and a highly talented player who specialises in a raucous mix of blues, North African and rock music. Taha formed his first band in 1982 after being inspired by the punk sounds coming out of the UK, especially by his heroes The Clash. Mick Jones, of The Clash, is a guest here with vocals and guitar, and some of the songs do have that heavy guitar riffing reminiscent of the Sex Pistols. Elsewhere, Arabic strings sit very comfortably alongside rock-and-roll guitars. There’s a fun remake of Elvis Presley’s ‘It’s Now or Never’ and the odd sample from the great singer, Umm Kulthum.

This is a real rocking collection, and makes for a very enjoyable listen for those open to something different.

Paul Barr

Cover image for Zoom


Rachid Taha

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