Sofiane Saidi & Mazalda Cosmic Raï at Tropicalia
Algerian Rai came to prominence in the late 80s and in the span of a couple of years, managed to grow from a lo-fi, cassette-only, genre to the overproduced mega-hits of the early 90s. The beautiful collaboration between Algerian Singer Sofiane Saidi and the lyonnais group Mazalda is a daring re-invention that looks back to the early history of Raï but seeks to meld a vintage approach with an adventurous edge.
Sofianes singing possesses all the lyrical qualities of the best of Orans singers, while the arrangements rely both on a sense of groove and an audible joy in unexpected sonic detours.
While Sofiane was born near Oran and soaked in the roots raï culture as a teenager, he spent most of his adult years in France collaborating with more electronic minded outfits - Acid Arab and Natacha Atlas among others.
Mazalda started out as an experimental outfit, with projects ranging from a street brass band to quirky sound installations. Both Mazalda and Sofiane held a fascination for early raï music which led to this collaboration and a true re-invention of a genre that, until then, had seemed to have lost the ability to reinvent itself.
Their debut album received a tremendous reception in Europe and in the Arab world and their live shows have taken them all over Europe as well as Turkey, Egypt, Algeria and a host of new places for 2020.
We couldnt imagine a better time for a European-Arabic musical success story.
The group will make their North American debut at Tropicalia on Jan 10 and at Globalfest, on January 12, 2020 in NYC.
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