review of Algerian Raï EP
  by Resident Advisor

The review on RA:

RA states that I rather should blend “European house and techno” with Arab vocals.
That’s quite the opposite of my approach!
Why I am measured with somebody else’s too-obvious, superficially simple flash of genius?
If one is familiar with my productions s/he knows that I am mostly exploring fields of percussion far away from the Roland TR/boom-ts territory (though Raï often and me on the A use the 707). And I won’t exploit vocals that I do not understand with my heart. I will neither behave like a naive youtube-mash-up artist denying all cultural context, nor will I be the arrogant post-colonial Ethnologist, who thinks that the soul of a culture can be grabbed by scientific analytics.
The A-side of Algerian Raï features sources from the only known instrumental and synth focussed cassette that was (inofficially) released in the mid 80s. Praising this proto artefact that is much closer to the Western ears than Arab singing plus staying instrumental was the trigger to do this record!
The B is touching the odd and psychedelic polyrhytmic nature of Raï that is far more unique than its singing (that you will find similarly in all Arab states). It seems this feature slipped through the editors awareness. Focussing on polyrhythm and syncopation for this flipside was the second trigger for Algerian Raï!

On the other hand the record is dedicated as a tool to DJs who work with it in a peculiar way – on purpose – out of this discourse.
Because – I am not claiming to bring on Raï, but using rhythm structures for more daring patterns than “European house and techno”.
The initial quote totally fails without empathy (or just listening) to nail down the approach of this record. It rather sticks to the establishment. The editor expects brilliant craftsmanship instead of invention. He is rather suggesting a proper techno record or an authentic Ethno compilation and is measuring the EP by this, his personal bias.
Sorry, I don’t pray way, Kit Macdonald! Please open up your mind!