Orchestre National de Barbès

Rendez-Vous Barbès

(Le Chant Du Monde)

3 star rating
© Financial Times

The Orchestre National de Barbès are veterans of Parisian Mahgrebi music, but the photos of them posing with electronic keyboards are alarming: their rhythms used to be beaten out on frame drums, their lyrics hoarse shouts.

Not all of this comeback works: the perky playtime bounce of “Nó Nó Nó” grates quickly. But if the frenzy of old has been dialled back, its companion intensity remains in the spacious reggae of “Chórfa”, the buzzing crunch of “Sidi Yahia-Bnet Paris”, or the title track’s sideways bal musette.

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