Sometimes retrospective albums seem destined to just come and go but not this one. ‘Amazigh Freedom Rock 1973 – 1983’ by Les Abranis, available via Bongo Joe from 28th April, promises to be a compilation that makes a mark, setting the crate diggers out there scrabbling and looking for more. This is an album that opens up the back story of Les Abranis and reveals the band’s significant history, all soundtracked with a blistering whirl of seventies rock, prog and wild Berber rhythms.
The roots of Les Abranis started with two young Algerian exiles, Shamy El Baz and Karim Abdenour, who fled to Paris to escape their home country’s increasingly repressive government. In creative rush of the French capital they forged their musical ideas, smelting the electric charge of garage rock with the blistering rhythms and melodic chants of their Kabyle Berber traditions. Joined by bass player bass player Madi Mehdi and drummer Samir Chabane, Les Abranis soon became a fully functioning freaky beat group on a mission.
Over the course of a decade, ‘73 to ’83, their reputation grew and their music thrived. Les Abranis were always on the move, the line up shifted but El Baz and Abdenour remained to hone their own rock fusion. That’s the journey that the ‘Amazigh Freedom Rock’ album preserves for us. From rough and raw psych to synth driven stompers, loose North African funk to well woven electro-prog, Les Abranis never lost their drive.
‘Id Ed Was’ the spikey trailer to the full-blown epic, highlights their natural dynamism. Lock into the crisp, clipped snare and articulate, fluent bassline. Thrill at the pre-rai synth and guitar harmonics as they spiral and tighten. Glide with the acrobatic Berber vocals and those ancient melodies retold with rock n’ roll potency. The track is fair warning that Les Abranis and ‘Amazigh Freedom Rock 1973 – 1983’ should not be overlooked.
Pre-order your copy of ‘Amazigh Freedom Rock 1973 – 1983’ by Les Abranis from Bongo Joe’s Bandcamp HERE