Various Artists

Algérie: Panorama de L'Oranais

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This is music from Oran, the region in Algeria that gave birth to rai music, recorded around the time when rai was being transformed from a rural form to a more cosmopolitan form (late '30s). This is raw, passionate music that stands in contrast to the slicker forms that would become popular in years to come. The instrumental backing is lean -- generally just oud, percussion, and perhaps a violin, all playing in support of the vocals, not competing with them. Sound quality is quite good on this excellent, historic collection of Algerian music.

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