INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Guardian MARCH 10, 2013 - by Robin Denselow
RACHID TAHA: ZOOM
Life hasn't been easy for Rachid Taha since he recorded his sadly tame Bonjour album in 2009, but the king of rock'n'rai is back, with a distinguished cast to help him. The man who famously recorded an Arabic tribute to The Clash with Rock El Casbah now has Mick Jones playing guitar, while the driving and gutsy production work is by Justin Adams, who also adds fine guitar work. The only problem is Taha himself, who insists on declaiming rather than singing on several tracks, including Zoom Sur Oum, which is remarkable for the use of samples from the legendary Egyptian diva Oum Kalsoum. Taha is in better form with the North African treatment of Elvis's Now Or Never, the Algerian-cajun-rockabilly of Fakir, and - best of all - a new treatment of his 1993 anti-racism anthem Voilà Voilà, now featuring Brian Eno. Not his finest album, but it's a massive improvement.