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Rahmann - Rahmann CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.24 | 68 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars RAHMANN is a rarity in the world of progressive music. While the jazz-fusion genre is filled with a ridiculous number of variations on themes and sounds, no one else to my knowledge has taken the sub genre into the world of the Middle East where bellydancers, progheads and jazz-fusionists can coincide in harmonic bliss but on this one-shot album that emerged from France in a the time-out history of prog and jazz, they can, well at least at times. While this band was formed in France, the main member Mahamad Hadi was born in Algeria and raised in France but never really let the best of his former culture behind. This is an authentic fusion where the tapestry of influences are firmly woven tightly together and not just the filled with embellishments on top of an already established sound.

The music is quite the interesting mix. While the violin and song structures can remind a bit of the Mahavishnu orchestra with their complex and strange repetitive bizarre riffs, there is a distinct zeuhl sound in the rhythmic department due to the fact that former members of Magma were on board to deliver the strong and frenetic backbone. Both Didier Lockwood (violin) and Liza Deluxe (vocals) from Magma help out as does Gerard Provost (bass) from Zao thus delivering a strong Kobaian influence. Add on the myriad Middle Eastern instruments such as the oud, bouzouki, snitra and we have a recipe for some intricate and wonderfully flowing music that snakes across your consciousness like the Nile slinking through the dusty lands.

Perhaps the strongest aspect of this album is the diverse sounds of each track. While the opener "Atlanta" almost sounds like a traditional of Northern Africa with slight progressive jazz-fusion overtones, the songs ratchet up the progressiveness as they march on. "Danse Sacrée" is the most obvious reference to the Mahavishnu Orchestra but what i love about this album is just how each track stands on its own merits with some bringing certain influences to mind and others really displaying a streak of independence that almost seems as timeless as the Semitic languages themselves. Because Balkan gypsy type music sounds like Middle Eastern music, sometimes this can remind me of avant-proggers Area as well.

While the Algerian sounds are supplemental, this is through and through a progressive jazz-fusion album with Middle Eastern instruments on board lending a hand to the most spectacular fusion-fest of two totally disparate cultures. Perhaps the one complaint i have for this album is that it is not adventurous enough for my tastes for i have been utterly spoiled by the unadulterated explorative possibilities of the Gunesh Ensemble and this seems a tad tame in comparison, but despite not creating that subway to Venus that i would hope for, i am still very much impressed by the uniqueness that this sole album by RAHMANN distills from its sources.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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