Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fatna Bent Lhoucine & Ouled Ben Aguida - Twofer


Some good websites exist for streaming Moroccan music. For Berber music, there's a great selection at https://www.izlanzik.org/. For Arab stuff, my previous go-to site was yala.fm, but lately the search function seems to be broken. More recently, I've been turning to http://www.ournia.co/, which has a large selection of Moroccan music (and other Arab/North African music). For some artists, one can find nearly comprehensive discographies. For others, especially those who have released albums on several different labels and over many years, the selection will be more spotty.

Case in point: the late, great âita singer Fatna Bent Lhoucine (1935-2005). When I first visited Morocco, she was on TV all the time - a real household name. However, her vast recorded output seems to have been primarily on 45s and on a variety of local cassette labels, many of which remain unreleased in digital format.

Ournia actually has a decent selection of recordings of Fatna Bent Lhoucine. Some of them appear to be reissues of vintage recordings, others are possibly recordings from late in her career. Even with album art available, it's often unclear whether the images are representative of the original album art (in the case of CD reissues of cassettes), or whether vintage photos accompany more recent recordings (or vice versa).

Another great online source of Moroccan recordings, specifically of âita recordings, is Settatbladi.org, a non-commercial online digital collection started by âita aficionados in 2007. They recently migrated the entire collection to the Internet Archive. There's an ocean of material there (over 2000 songs). Whereas Ournia seems to feature material that has been commercially issued in digital format, Settatbladi's curators have digitized their private collections of 45s, LPs, cassettes, and CDs. It's not always possible to match audio files with corresponding cover art (which is housed in a separate archive), and I don't see information there about the dates of the recordings. Still, it's a remarkable collection, and well worth swimming its seas of sound! Naturally, they have plenty of recordings of Fatna Bent Lhoucine.


Over here at Moroccan Tape Stash, I can't be very comprehensive about artist discographies - all I can do is offer copies of things that happened to fall into my hands over the years. Maybe mp3 downloads are going the way of the cassette tape and compact disc. Perhaps I should turn these into streaming versions, or put them all on YouTube to make them more accessible to all.

For now, though, we'll keep on with present format, and offer up a couple of tapes of Fatna Bent Lhoucine with her longtime collaborators the Ouled ben Aguida. These are on the label Sawt Lahbak. Neither are perfect in terms of audio, but the music on them is great.

The tape for which I actually have a j-card (V.L. 69) lists 6 songs, but only 3 appear on the 40 minute cassette. The audio quality is a bit warbly.

The other tape is features 2 songs. (There were three tracks on the tape, but the third was just the beginning of the 1st song again.) The playback on the tape sounded way too slow (tempo) and low (pitch). I sped up the tempo/raised the pitch in Logic, and it sounds more natural now. The overall audio quality is better than on the 1st tape.

Ouled Ben Aguida & Fatna Bent Lhoucine - اولاد بن عگيدة و فاطنة بنت الحسين
Sawt Lahbaq (صوت لحباق) cassette V.L. 69

1) Rouisi Chab (رويسي شاب)

2) Lhouaouia (لهواوية)
3) Lfraq S3ib (لفراق صعيب)



Ouled Ben Aguida & Fatna Bent Lhoucine - اولاد بن عگيدة و فاطنة بنت الحسين
Sawt Lahbaq (صوت لحباق) cassette

1) El 3aloua

2) Za3eriya

Get em all here.
More Fatna Bent Lhoucine in the Stash here.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Some Deep Stati Trax Before Ramadan


Here's a fantastic Stati tape that Lalla Hafida brought me in 2016. Down deep in the âita groove, this is some great stuff. I wish I knew the identity of the shikha singer featured here along with Stati - she's fabulous.


The music and the photo are clearly much older than 2016. The cassette number 20/2000 indicates that it was released in the year 2000, but I suspect it's a reissue of an earlier album. (He looks very young in the photo.)

For those of you observing Ramadan (starting at the end of this week), here's wishing you a month of peace, blessing, and remembrance.

Stati (Al Fannan Abdelaziz Stati) - الفنان عبد العزيز الستاتي
Sawt Chaouia cassette 20/2000
1) La Tghib 3lia - لله لا تغيب علي
2) Lawah Ya Lebnia - لواه يا لبنية
3) Raqsa - رقصة
4) Jayeb Rou7i Lik Hdia - جايب روحي ليك هدية
5) Za3eri - زعري / Raqsa 3la Lqa3da - رقصة على القعدة

Get it all here.
More Stati in the Stash here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fatima Zehafa - Ya Lghadi Ou Ljai


The Arab Tunes blog recently shared some excellent 45s by the great shikha Fatima Zehafa. I have one 45 of hers too, and I'm pretty crazy about it, so I'm sharing that one here. Hope you enjoy it!



Fatima Zehafa (فاطمة الزحافة) - Ya Lghadi Ou Ljai (Moussaouiphone 2848 AB)
1) Ya Lghadi Ou Ljai
2) Al Khadem


Get it all here.