Friday, 25 March 2011


Lemchaheb, or The Torches, were along with Nass El Ghiwane and Jil Jilala, one of the founding groups of Moroccan Chaabi, a popular musical form that sought to blend traditional Moroccan folk music styles with Western pop styles to create an idiosyncratic sound. By the late seventies, Lemchaheb's music was charecterised by their use of the electric guitar, but that's nowhere to be heard on this beautiful early recording which instead features the gorgeous vocals of Saida Birouk, the female band member who was part of the group until 1978.

Lemchaheb's sound on these recordings is very melodic and quite gentle, in contrast to some of the other Moroccan music I've posted in the past, which might make it a good point of entry for the wary. The group are still well loved in Morocco and you may hear some of their songs being played by the groups of musicians that congregate in the Djemaa el Fna.

Here's a track from their 1978 album:


Side 1:

Side 2:
Wana A Ommi
Lalla Lakbira
Kif Nghanni Ya Sah

Get it HERE.


icastico said...

I must say that I am very excited about being able to share in your Moroccan sonic adventure. If you haven't checked it out, there are some great posts of Moroccan music from a similar trip over at Crud Crud


Tim Abdellah said...

Oh yes! This is a fantastic find! Thank you thank you!

BTW, satellite channel 2M from Morocco last night featured a recent performance of Lemchaheb, and a woman was in the group - I wonder if it's the same one from the original group:

BTW2, I love these commercial cassettes where you can hear the snaps crackles and pops from the vinyl LPs from which they were dubbed! (snap, crackle pop and hiss!!)

Anonymous said...

Awesome... thanks for posting!

Mr Tear said...

Tim, the video is excellent. The Torches are on fire!
Any chance you could help with some translations of the songs titles on the Izanzaren tape?? I'd be very grateful.

I have had a look at Crud Crud...they are great posts, helping convey the noise and smell and confusion of the place, and the warmth of the people. Looking forward to listening to the music he shared.

Murky Recess said...

This looks tremendous. Many thanks, friend.

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lazyproduction said...

Nice post. All your post about arab music are very interesting. If you want you can visit my blog dedicated to arab music :

thanx for all

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