Top 5

Houari-Benchenet_Malika Cheikha-Rahma_Majaouja-Ouala-Bakya Cheikha-Rabia_Karima-Ya-Naima Cheb-Khaled-&-Safy-Boutella_Kutche Cheb-Khaled_Hana-Hana


Without any doubt, 100% original Raï music is back for good with those guys! Feet on the «transfloor», head in the sky (as their new album suggests!). Check their dope «roots» raï selection!


Cheikha Rahma
Majaouja Ouala Bakya


«From an old tape bought at La Goutte d’Or in Paris! The groovy sound you can hear with the percussions is the Zamar, a continuous blown oboe with 2 horns from Berkane, at the border of Algeria and Morocco! The typical arabic synth danceable sound came from this precise sound!»

Cheikha Rabia
Karima Ya Naïma


«In her 1999 LP ‘Ana Hak’, Cheikha Rabia gave her vision of modern Raï, where gasba is still at the center of the sound, together with the adventurous gsasbi (flute) virtuoso Baghdad Mimouni. This tune is a perfect example, where electric guitar melt with flutes!»

Houari Benchenet


«From a 1983 tape produced by Rachid Baba Ahmed, here’s an emblematic pop rai title. Since the 70’s, Houari Benchenet writes and composes his songs, making his way together with the Raï pioneers.»

Cheb Khaled
Hana Hana


«The twinned funky guitar of the derbouka, the scintillating synth layers and choruses, are the main ingredients of Rachid Baba Ahmed’s (the infamous Tlemcen born producer) unique sound signature. Add the soft, warm and powerful voice of Khaled at his best, you’ll get the ultimate tarab!»

Cheb Khaled & Safy Boutella


«A revolutionary LP from 1987, the one that helped Cheb Khaled to shine out of the borders of Algeria. Together with visionary producers Safy Boutella and Martin Meissonnier (known for his amazing works with King Sunny Ade), Khaled explores algerian and moroccan traditions, using two Cheikha Rimitti’s songs. The whole album changes the history of mediterranean music, showing how Raï can be the vehicle of the still burning news. Somewhere between Bowie (from Berlin era) and the birth or electro!»

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Bar-Kays – You can’t run away
One of their nicest 80s songs with some hints of Milton Wright’s best melodies. Classic!

Mercury USA 1977

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