Because the Dark Continent had copper and gold
and the discoverers had themselves a plan.
They would discover all the places with promise.
You didn't need no titles or deeds.
You could just appoint people to make everything legal,
to sanction the trickery and greed.
And back in the jungle when the natives got restless
they would call that 'guerrilla attack'
and they would never describe that the folks finally got wise
and decided they would fight back.
And still we are victims of word games,
semantics is always a bitch:
places once referred to as under-developed
are now called 'mineral rich.'
And the game goes on eternally
unity kept just beyond reach
Egypt and Libya used to be in Africa,
they've been moved to the Middle East.
So sang Gil Scott Heron in Black History. And in the last two lines brings up that eternal conundrum…is Egyptian, Libyan, Moroccan and Algerian music ‘middle eastern’ or African?
As much as I love the song and Gil Scott-Heron (and I really love both), ultimately, the question doesn’t matter. The music is simply great. Unlike the music of any other part of the Continent, the sounds of North Africa are dramatic and theatrical. And perhaps with the exception of South Africa, more overtly political than the other regions.
There are lots of jewels in these discs: Algeria Mon Beau Pays; Yigui Youm; Aadrouni Ya Sadate and; Hagda.
Listen closely and savor.
Track Listing (disc one):
01 Algerie Mon Beau Pays (Algeria) [Slimane Azem]
02 Kifeche Rah (Algeria)[Dahmane El Harrachi]
03 Ghanili Chweyi (Egypt) [Oum Kalthoum]
04 Ya Mahfel Houche Khdija (Tunisia) [Raoul Journo]
05 Touche Mami Touche (Algeria) [Cheikha Rimitti]
06 Wahran El Bahyia (Algeria) [Blond Blond]
07 Yigui Youm (Egypt) [Farid El Atrache]
08 Ya Rabi (Algeria)[M'hamed El Anka]
09 Hirtou (Egypt [Mohamed Abdelwahab])
10 Jari Ya Hamouda (Tunisia) [Ahmed Hamza]
11 Y Bnet El Houma (Algeria) [Noura]
12 Sidi h'Bibi (Morocco) [Salim Halali]
Track Listing (disc two):
01 Hakmet Aliha Darouf [Abdelaziz Stati]
02 Azwaw [Chérifa
03 Chems Al Aâchia [Mohamed Bajdoub
04 Al Rissal [Abdelhalim Hafez]
05 Rouh Adhqimagh [Lounis Ait Menguellet]
06 Almihrab [Abdelwahab Doukkali]
07 Aàdrouni Ya Sadate [Reinette l'Oranaise]
08 Mahmouma [Nass El Ghiwane]
09 Tih El Téli [Hédi Habouba]
10 El Leila Ya Smara [Mohamed Mounir]
11 Rah El Ghali [Soulef]
Track Listing (disc three):
01 Shoufou [Hkim]
02 Nana Mazel [Cheb Mami]
03 Tebeg Rir [Takfarinas]
04 Hagda [Raïna Raï]
05 J'en Ai Marre[Najat Aatabou]
06 Bedeltini Bahiri [Khalas]
07 La Tchitchi [City 16]
08 Galou Hasni Mèt [Cheb Hasni]
09 Mériam Maria[Ouled Jouini]
10 La Camel [Cheb Khaled]
11 Anan Mélit [Orchestre Fayçal]
12 N'sel Fik [Fadela & Saharaoui]