Saturday, 25 March 2017

Cheikha Rimitti - 1989.March.10 - Rasa Utrecht

Let's go now way way up north to Algeria, where we can listen to the 'queen-mother of Rai-music'.
Cheikha Rimitti (source:

Biography of Cheikha Rimitti


Cheikha Rimitti (real name: Saadia al-Ghizania) was born 1923 in the village of Tessala (Algeria), she was an Algerian singer and songwriter, belonging to the Rai tradition.
Through most of her life she was a rebel, using her position to promote rights to Algeria's Muslim female population. Eventually, she changed her ways, and returned to the ideas of Islam on her older days.
Cheikha Rimitti, as known for her productions late in life, had a style of a deep voice and songs of little variation, but with suggestive music. Both using modern, Western instruments and traditional Algerian ones, like bendire, tar, gasbâ and gallal. Throughout her more than 50 years as a recording artist, she has published around 400 cassettes, 300 singles and a handful of CD's. She has written 200 songs, several recorded with other artists.
She had a second career starting in the 1990's, when her music was rediscovered by a new generation.
Cheikha Rimitti is one of the central figures of the development of Rai music, being considered the artistic mother of young Rai performers from the 1980's. Both Khaled and Rachid Taha has recorded tributes to her.
She had 4 children, all having returned to Algeria.

1923 May 8: Born in the village Tessala, named Saadia al-Ghizania.
1920's: Saadia is orphaned, and has a hard childhood, never attending school.
1938: Joins a travelling music group, known as the Hamdachis, with whom she sings and dances.
1943: Moves to Relizane, where she writes songs and performs. She soon earns much fame from singing about tabooed subjects, like sex and alcohol.
1940's: Saadia's fame grows quickly across Algeria, she sings several times on the radio. She would soon take the artist name Cheikha Rimitti.
1952: Publishes her first record, which included the song 'Er-Rai er-Rai'.
1954: Becomes famous and infamous when releasing Charrak Gatta, challenging the the taboo of virginity for unmarried women.
1962: Algeria's Muslim population gets independence, and as part of the ethnic cleansing of Europeans, Cheikha Rimitti's music is also outlawed, accused of being influenced by French culture.
1960s: Moves to France.
1971: Injured in a car crash, while touring Algeria. She spends 3 weeks in coma.
1975: Performs hajj, and changes her lifestyle to a modest, Muslim-conservative one, quitting smoking and alcohol.
1980s: Moves to Paris.
1989-2006: Makes internationally released albums and performs on stages all over the world.
2006 May 15: Dies in Paris, France, from a heart attack.

Listen to 'Allo Allo' (live 1989)

RIMITTI-CHEIKHA-19890610 - Utrecht (VPRO)

0.N'ta Goudami - from 'N'ta Goudami' (2005, CD, Because #3109862)
Live 1989.March.10 with Sabri and Boualem (both on Gasbah-flute) in Rasa, Utrecht:
1.Allo Allo / 2.Charak-Gataa / 3.unknown title / 4.unknown title / 5.unknown title / 6.unknown title / 7.unknown title

source: Dutch VPRO Radio - 2006.Jul.31, Lost 'Takken' (#5) - repeat of 1989.April.27 show


1952-89: some 400 K7s
1989: Ghir al Baroud (CD/LP, Michel Levy Productions) [re-CD, 1996]
1994: Sidi Mansour (CD/K7, Absolute Records) [re-CD, 2006]
1994 (comp?): Les Racines Du Rai - Rai Roots (CD, Buda Musique)
1995: Cheikha [unreleased tracks from 'Sidi Mansour' album] (mini-CD)
2000: Nouar (CD, Sonodisc)
2001: Live - European Tour 2000 (CD, Sono)
2005: N'ta Goudami (CD, Because Music)
2005 (comp?): Hina Ou Hina (CD, The Intense Music)
Comp-1999: Aux Sources Du Rai ‎(CD, Institut Du Monde Arabe)
Comp-2000: Trab Music ‎(CD, Culture Press)
Comp-2000: L'Étoile Du Rai ‎(CD, Culture Press)
Comp-2001: Le World... Rai ‎(CD, Suave Records)
Comp-2006: Maghreb Soul - Rimitti Story 1986-90 ‎(2CD, Because Music)

Things to read/listen/watch:

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