Exposé Online banner

Cheika Rimitti — Sidi Mansour
(Absolute ABSOLCD 2, 1994, CD)

by Alain Lachapelle, Published 1996-03-01

Sidi Mansour Cover art

Cheika ("crazy") Rimitti began her musical career in about 1936. The horrors of war and the epidemics that ravaged her native region of Oran in Algeria gave the inspiration for her first verses. At 70 years of age now, we find "the mother of rai" alongside King Crimson's Robert Fripp, the Fowler brothers on horns (of Zappa fame), Red Hot Chilli Pepper's bassist Flea, and a few other guests such as David Kendrick on drums and East Bay Ray on guitars. Recorded in Paris and Los Angeles, this album is full of rhythm upon which Rimitti's Arab chanting navigates boldly. All compositions are by Houari Talbi, also saxophone and synth player. The material on this disc may very well be off-limits for a lot of progressive fans, but the album should nevertheless be mentioned because of the Crimson and Zappa link. It is quite special to hear Frippertronics with Rimitti's voice soloing in Arabic fashion, the guitar loops slowly washing away, echoing of the chanting. Or this typical Frippian 1980 guitar rhythmic riff which would be at ease on a Crimson album. All songs rely on a solid groove punctuated fully by the brass section. And there's a sense of daring in here, coming from this lady whose repertory is known to many generations: "a proof that new musical horizons isn't a question of age, but of fresh inspiration." A little warning though: this is really an album of Arabic songs, and as such, the vocals may be a bit too exotic to grasp at first listen. But for the adventurous listener, both the soul of the songs and the musical expertise mentioned above should reveal interesting textures.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Fripp, Cheika Rimitti

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Djam Karet - The Ritual Continues – Imagine a sound with the force and power of mid-period King Crimson, the fluidity and spaciness of Pink Floyd, and the percussive power of Peter Gabriel's Security. Throw into that mix a generous...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues