Saturday, 21 April 2012

Mystery singer from Marrakech

I'm about to move house, a mammoth task as we (my partner and our 3 kidiwinks) have been renting our current home for 12 years now.  I'm surrounded by boxes and feeling slightly overwhelmed by the amount of packing left to do.  It's times like this that a man could easily start to feel like he has too many records.
What this may mean for Snap, Crackle and Pop is that there may be a lack of posts for the next few weeks while we move and settle into the new place.

Just to keep y'all occupied in my absence though, I am posting this cassette I picked up on my recent Marrakech visit.  It was recommended to me by the owner of a music shop located in the back room of an electrical goods shop just off the Djemaa el Fna telling me the singer is from Marrakech.  I have no idea what type of music it is, and its fair to say I've never heard anything quite like it.  I was disappointed when I first put the tape on and really though it would not be my cup o' tea, but the tempo increases over the course of side one until you're absolutely swept away by the demented energy of it all.  It appears to be a live recording and, gosh, it does sound like some party!
As usual, any informtion on the artist and the music would be greatly appreciated.


Side One
Side Two

Get it HERE.


tim abdellah said...

It's Asri, a famous chaabi singer from Fes. This looks VINTAGE! Can't wait to check it out!

Mr Tear said...

Thanks Tim, let me know what you think.

LolaRadio said...

thanks 4 this one.
cassette txt: rec + prod.: FASY Disk adress 33 Hassan II road
stereo = original tape - all rights reserved. something like that. No artist information on the tape itself, i believe

cover: awraksi 3asry. Tim Abdallah knows him as singer Asry. So tnaks Tim as well

tim abdellah said...

This is a great tape! It really has the feeling of being at a wedding, and perhaps it was recorded at one. The band starts the set, in typical fashion, with some slow stuff, to ease the guests off their butts and onto their feet to dance. They let the groove simmer a bit, then stir it up 'til it's really cooking and kicking!

The first few tunes (most of side 1) are straight-up Moroccan chaâbi. Then we get a couple of Middle Eastern songs. First an Egyptian song I didn't recognize, with typical charki beat. Then they do a famous Middle Eastern song "Ya Sari Sar Ellil" (I think Georges Wassouf recorded it), but with a Moroccan 6/8 beat! (None of those songs are listed on the j-card. To avoid copyright?) Some more Moroccan tunes, including a "Lalla Lâarosa" song ("the lady bride"), now with a heavier "Gnawi" beat (2 "dum"-s per measure rather than one), moving into Mul el Kar, and sliding right into S'hab el Baroud (an Algerian rai tune made famous by Cheb Khaled)! Give the people what they want (or what they wanted in the '80s anyway!)

J-Card lists the following tunes: Al 'Adama
Ana Mellite
Mana Shay
[Middle Eastern Songs not listed]
[Moroccan songs not listed]
Lalla Lâarosa
Moul el Kar
S'hab el Baroud
[instrumental outro]

Artist is listed as "Orchestre Asri"

Thanks again for this one!!

tim abdellah said...

Re: "Sari Sar el Leil", I wonder if it's a Jordanian folk song. You'll find a million versions of it online. Just google وساري سار الليل

Hammer probably can identify it...

Hammer said...

It's not strictly Jordanian, no. The song is a famous bedouin tune 'Wa Sari Sara El-Liel' ('You Who Went With The Dawn, The Night's Over'), and its origins are from the Arabian Gulf Peninsula. The words are said to be written by a Yemeni poet a hundred years ago, or maybe more. This particular song is usually sung at weddings as Time has suggested in his second comment because it has this upbeat, consistent rhythm which keeps dancers at any wedding on a rawlin' joy.

Been away from Blog-Town for a long while (busy with some work). I dropped by for a few minutes to find this ongoing unified musical spirit which is something that sets my heart at ease. You guys are wonderful, really.

Thanks Mr. T: your cassettes are always beautiful.


Hammer said...

Time? Lol. Oh gosh darn it! Time is not our friend unlike Tim Abdedllah there.

Greets and mad props there fer ya.



Hammer said...

The track-listing that Tim has given is straight right from the horse's mouth. I might add a few remarks here and there and do the translation, 'sall.

01- Al-A'adama (العظمة - 'Majesty').
02- Ana Mallit (أنا مليت - 'I Am Bored').
03- Mana Shay (منا شاي - 'I'm Nothing').
04- Weddi (ودي - 'My Beloved': a popular Moroccan wedding song).
05- Instrumental.
06- Additional Track ('Ala Eidak - Ita'alimna - على إيدك إتعلمنا Popular Egyptian song first song by Sayed Darwish circa 1920s).

Cassette fades mid-song and starts with it again on Side-B.

01- 'Ala Eidak -(Ita'alimna) - على إيدك (إتعلمنا) ('Under Your Hands We've Learned').
02- Wa Sari Sara El-Liel (وا ساري سرى الليل) - 'Oh Night Traveler The Dawn's Gone'.
03- Einaya (عينيا - 'My Eyes'). Popular Moroccan song.
04- Lalla Lâarosa - للا العروسة ('Lalla The Bride') mixed back-to-back with Assalah We'Salam A'ala Errsoul El-A'arabi/الصلاة والسلام على الرسول العربي; one of the Orchestra's best known songs sung here to thwart any 'evil-eye' from the bride sitting prolly fully henna'-d with the women, plus two lesser-known songs 'El-A'amar - العمار (good wishes for the new house), and Boul'Ridwan - بو الرضوان (a homage sung to the father of the bride whose wedding the hafla was held on his honour, and at the end comes...
05- Moul El-Kar (مول الكار - 'The Owners of The Singing Profession'), another homage for the band, singers, et al. back-to-back with Moulai Al-Jilani.
06- S'hab El-Baroud - (صحاب البارود - 'The Owners of The Shotguns': a small homage for those who usually fire at weddings to announce it to the whole village as this is an Islamic tradition).


Hammer said...

Orchestre Si Mohammed El-Asri (as a solo violinist: Cheb La-Asri/Lassri) is a famous châabi singer from Fass (originally was born in a small townlet called Sefrou in which he grew up and had his first singing career days at).
His songs (along with the Orchestra), go back to 1986. They were mostly sang live at weddings (hall-palaces or alfresco), celebrations, and public T.V..
The Orchestra itself was credited for being an Essouia-revivalist band, but this does not mean they were strictly religious: some songs they sang had a religious theme (Amdah Nabawiya) which is a very common thing in Morocco.
When the band sang its first songs, they were mostly duets with another singer (Yousef El-A'skari), but today Mohammed is still active and has a wide following in Morocco and elsewhere all over the world.

Go there and you will find some good .rm downloadable files from the earlier tracks by this band. MP3 galore. Enjoy.

Moar on >>

Vidz: Almost a thou videos of popular Moroccan singers caught live (or, on song) at the 'Tube. Dig it.

Official Website:


Similar Artists:
-Orchestre Ben-Said.
-Orchestre Anouar.
-Orchestre Shkarah.
-Cheb Amrou.
-Cheba Awatif.


ledenn said...

Wow! Is this an incredible blog or what?! Thanks for all the annotations everyone! What a community of music lovers! Thanks Thanks

Mr Tear said...

Thanks Tim and Hammer for all the excellent background on this tape and artist. I'm still playing this to death at home and I'm still really appreciating its frantic energy.

Ledenn, thanks for the kind words and I hope you find much here to your liking.

Hammer said...

Any'Time'... Mr. T.

Ya rawk.


Anonymous said...

hi Mr, thanks for the old album of the greatest moroccan singer el asri mohamed (orchestre asri) plz we need more old albumes of him if you can, and thnks a loooooooottt

Mr Tear said...

Hello there and thanks for dropping in . I'm very glad you're enjoying this music, here is another El Asri cassette:

I have one more to post at a later date.

Anonymous said...

yes i saw that other album of orchestre asri, really i liked it very much and plz we need more ald albums of that orchestre
thanks you very very very much Mr Tear.

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