Sunday, 14 July 2013

Lhoucine Amarrakchi - Berber Music from the Souss Valleys

This cassette is another of the wonderful treasures provided by Joachim.  It's Berber music complete with banjos, rabab and hectic percussion.  Its a high energy affair and I hope you enjoy it.

On the end of each side we are lucky enough to find an incredibly strange instrumental track with rabab and banjo playing over synthesised backing.  Each of these tracks cut short leaving me hanging out for more - if anyone knows where to get the complete tracks I'd love to hear from you.


Side One
Side Two

Get it HERE.

Finally, any translations, or info about this artist would be much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

sometimes you try to upload something onto youtube and they say "no, this is XYZ song licensed to so-&-so..." Its a totally long shot for Moroccan music vs. something owned by Sony, but you could still upload just that unknown song & see if any info pops up??? I know there's also a cell phone app that will use the phone's onboard microphone to pick-up whatever you are listening to & then tell you the name of the song. Once again, their archive is probably just very commercial stuff, but then again you never know what surprises might await...

looking forward to listening, anyway!! thank you...

tim abdellah said...

Great tape, Mr T! I was struck by the images on the j-card: a totalled car, a patient recovering in a hospital, and the Eiffel Tower. The text at the bottom of the j-card appears to state that Mr. Ammrakchi spent 6 months in a French hospital, that this is his first album since his recovery, and that he sings about the experience in these recordings.

Wish I could identify the snippets at the end of each side - I agree, it's tantalizing stuff!

BTW - did I ever mention how great your Hamadsha post was! Many thanks for that one!

Hammer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hammer said...

Thanks, T. Amazigh music is rocking good at your blog again.

This is El-Rayess La'Houcine Ammrakchi (Also spelled as Houssine, Hussein, L'Hossin, etc. Arabic: الرايس لحسين أمراكشي), a very loved berber singer and orchestra leader in Agadir.

He was born, though in Marrakesh, in 1965 and since an early age, joined (along with his two younger brothers), this bustling city's wedding halls regalia and was accepted as a l'rbab player at Sidi Moulay Mohammed Bin L'fqih orchestra in the late 70's and played there as a major anchor until he went solo in 1989 when singer and maestro L'Arabi Bigamin discovered him.

Later, he went to sing in duets with almost every well-known and famous Amazigh singer, to name here but a few: El-Rayes Ambarak Amkroud, El-Houcine A'abia, El-Houcine O'Saleh, and El-Rayesa Fatima Tabaamrant, but most noticeably, he joined forces with another Soussian singer (namely, Hassan Arsmouk), stemming heavily from the mawrouth and chaâbi repertoire of earlier uber-singers like his mentor Ambarrak Abisar, and the ghazaliat or, love songs of another El-Rayes L'Houcine El-Baz. Also, among his many influences were master singers of the Soussian song like, El-Hadj Mohammed Al-Damsiri, El-Hadj L'Hassan Akhtab, and Abdel-Alhadi Izenzaren (of the famous band).

In the early 90's, Ammrakchi went to the studio and recorded his first album-cassette. His songs are sweet, mellifluous rhythm-syncopated old poetry lines sung from olden Soussian and Amazighian Tabadhi poetry which derives its lure from metonymy. He has made what is believed to be the hugest success in Moroccan popular Agadir music in sales, and has more than 110 albums and over 630 songs sung over more than a quarter of a century.

Ammrakshi tried also his good looks at the realm of acting (which is in Morocco is consistent of badly-written plots, low-par cinematography, and very redundant themes like weddings, and divorces, family issues, immigrants, etc.), but alas, his acting isn't even a quart as good as his singing and musical career which everybody in Morocco loves him for.

His solo film was 'Toudert N' La'Houcine Ammrakchi': The Life of La'Houcine Ammrakchi, directed by L'Hassan Sarhan, and produced by L'Hassan Al-Siyasi (of the production house Bani), starring among many Hamid Al-M'ghari, Fatima El-Soussi, Brik Aitik, Mohammed Tayyeri, Hassan Berragh, and Mohammed Imnar.

Houcine also loved his fans and audience back, and in one concert in the 00's he adopted a small, 13-year old kid singer and christened him 'Houcine Ammrakchi'! He is considered a beacon of the Soussian song and one of its living legends by all Moroccan fans alike.

Well, the car accident depicted as happening in Paris was made as a prestigious token to the car accident he had in exactly, 11:00, 20th of April, 2012 getting hit by a drunk driver (rumoured to have been an Algerian, by the fabricating press), at Hay Al-Salam in Agadir when he went back to his home from the recording studio there.

Here are some useful links:
<a href=">Official Site</a>


Early Picture:

Hope that was hopeful, but as for the outro songs on the cassette: well, it is done by the studio engineer usually, as a gap-filler audio 'sweet nothing', and it might not be of Ammrakchi's repertoire after all. Moroccan tapes (as Tim would attest), are full of these deficits and oddities. So, pay it no mind, Mr. T.

You rock!


Mr Tear said...

Hope you're all enjoying this great tape. Thanks for all the info about El-Rayess, much appreciated. I was also really struck with the bizarre cover images, so really great to understand a bit of the back story. Joachim said he got this tape in Agadir in 1995 - there are a few more Moroccan tapes to come, as well as some Algerian music and an awesome cassette from Libya.

Thanh said...


XP said...

Hey I'm a huge big fan of the artist i started listening to his music since i was a little boy till now so i almost listened to all his music therefor i would like to thank you for the song and i want to ask you if you're Moroccan ?

Anonymous said...

bonjour , a vous tous , super c'est la première fois que un blog , a part la communauté maghrébine parle des chanteurs marocains ,surtout un blog de groove ....

hello, all of you, great is the first time that a blog, share the Maghreb community speaks Moroccan singers, especially a blog groove ....

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