Music » CD Reviews

Group Doueh

Guitar Music From the Western Sahara (Sublime Frequencies)

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Guitar Music From the Western Sahara is one of Sublime Frequencies' first releases to spotlight the recordings of a single artist. And Group Doueh deserves the global attention.

Since the late '80s, Group Doueh has maintained a presence throughout Morocco and Mauritania, performing on television and radio, as well as playing weddings and religious festivals. But the band doesn't jam traditional North African music, with its adherence to the modal system. Led by far-out guitarist Baamar Salmou, the members of Group Doueh are modern cats, fusing wah-wah acid rock, synthed-out funk, and twisted Middle Eastern grooves. What's more, the band's home recordings are raw, crusty, and totally lo-fi. "Eid for Dakhla" screams and stomps as fiercely as anything found on the Velvet Underground's first two LPs. In fact, Guitar Music zaps the ears with piercing tones that will be too intense for fans of the world pop found on Peter Gabriel's Real World imprint.

Apparently, lead vocalists Bashiri and Halima, Salmou's wife, sing of politics, romance, tradition, etc. That's insignificant to ugly Americans (like me) who only speak a single language. As pure sound, however, Group Doueh's exotic noise-rock slays anything currently coming out of America's indie ghetto.

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