Thursday, April 21, 2011

CD Review: Malika Zarra's 'Berber Taxi'

Berber Taxi

Malika is a Berber/Amazigh singer from Morocco. Based on local rhythms and influences, Malika incorporates several languages into the mix as well, including English, Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, French, and Berber. The music is not Gnawa, but it does transport one into a place of peace and tranquility. Musically, Malika is a more folked-out musician that is not as rock-oriented as fellow Berber countrywomen, Hindi Zahra or Iness Mezel. In fact, some of the tunes are quite laid-back, including the jazzy 'Houaria' and 'Mossameeha.' If you can picture Berber jazz, then this might be it. Some of the rhythms take on a Caribbean or Afro-Latin feel. This is especially evidenced on 'Amnesia.' It is refreshing to hear other voices from the deserts of North Africa. If you would like to take a brief respite from groovy blues guitar music, then relax and transport your way via Berber Taxi into the heart of Moroccan charm. ~ Matthew Forss

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