La Kabylie au Cœur

2001: Virgin France 724381013229

  1. Tonton du Bled


  2. Ouaythelha


  3. Ssalvits Ayavehri

    Lounes Matoub

  4. Tella

    Djamel Allam

  5. Ourar

    Orchestre National de Barbès

  6. Tchek Mayluz

    Boudjema Agraw

  7. Akka I Dus

    Akli D

  8. Chtedouyi


  9. Azwaw 2

    Cheb Mami & Idir

  10. Ayen Rir

    Fehrat Imaziten Imula

  11. Vava Vehri

    100% Collègues

  12. Tighri N-Tasa

    Lounis Aït-Menguellet

  13. Tebbeg Riri Remix


  14. Scottish Mezwzed


  15. Ouine Raïha

    Kamel Messaoudi

  16. Matilid Yidi

    Djaffar Aït-Menguellet

  17. A Cheikh Mokrane

    Abdel Kader Chaou

  18. La Tarara

    Radio Tarifa

I tend to forget how much fun this compilation of contemporary Mahgreb music is even though it was so good that a coworker of mine had me order a copy (from for her and she keeps it at the office, ready to play at any moment.

It was my introduction to l’Orchestre Nationale de Barbès, whose smashing Poulina CD I do think to play more often, and because I’m a Zebda fan I recognized the voices of the Amokrane brothers on the track by 100% Collègues, “Vava Vehri.” The bulk of the other groups on this album I’m not familiar with but certainly have stellar examples here of their work to compel me to check them out further.

There are some mighty groovelicious tracks on here, irresistably dance-triggering, among them the aforementioned ONB track “Ourar,” the hot-but-suave “Tchek Mayluz” from Boudjema Agraw, and the conceptually trippy but righteously boppin’ combination of Celtic and Berber worlds on Mugar’s all-too-brief “Scottish Mezwzed.” “Azwaw 2” is, as I read somewhere a few years ago, a sort of joining of not-quite-estranged musical directions, and certainly the fact that it features Cheb Mami is of note; whatever its story, it’s a strong, confident, solidly-paced number that’s beautiful to listen to.

In fact all of the album is beautiful to listen to (with the exception of that opening track, which is a kind of sloppy-context rap number); between the dance-manic numbers cited above is a fine array of very melodic glimpses of modern Northwest Africa.