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Rahmann - Rahmann CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.23 | 71 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This one-and-only offering by French band RAHMANN is a masterpiece. Not because I throw 5 star ratings around willy-nilly, and not because I forked out 50 Euros or whatever for the LP, but because this is a genuine, bona-fide classic - a most successful blend of ethnic fusion, Zeuhl and Prog performed by an amazing troupe of musicians who know their craft. The music is as colourful and complex as the rainbow-coloured toughra depicted on the cover-art, also reflecting band-leader/composer Mahamad Hadi's Algerian descent. Actually, the tracks here almost sound more Zeuhl than ZAO, another French fusion ensemble. Mahamad plays the guitar, synth guitar, fretless guitar and such exotic instruments as an oud, a bouzouki and a snitra. Along for the ride he has the amazing Amar Mecheraf on drums (quite possibly taking cues from Master Vander), Michel Rutigliano on keyboards, Gerard Prevost (ex-Zao) playing the bass and Lewis Cesar Ewande as percussionist. Many guests help shape the final product, most notably Didier Lockwood adding his violin to one track. The album is 92.239 % instrumental, with odd vocalisings courtesy of Nadia Hadi (on Nadiamina) and Liza Deluxe (on Atlanta). 'Atlanta' opens with some strange sounds and a steady, repetitive groove kicks in. The vocal melodies follow the piano, and at times Mahamad plays some traditional Middle-Eastern licks. The ney (an ethnic flute) adds a wonderful touch and flitters away up-front as the music fades out behind it. 'Nadiamina' is heavy with percussion, quite violent riffs and rhythms (almost cacophonous with lots going on at once) and also some impressive guitaring. 'Ab' is almost 8 minutes long, and opens with a heavy piano pattern eventually joined by synth, alternating between bars of 8 and 9 beats, giving a very effective twist to the accents. This gives way to some shredding guitar and heavy drums. From there we get a most strange solo, perhaps the synth-guitar, it's rather grating and atonal but really works. The final part features some ominous piano and some soloing from Mahamad, maybe on the oud. Plenty of tri-tones in this section. Piano opens 'Danse Sacree', joined by a fast, dramatic riff with thick bass, drums & perc. and guitar. Soon in Lockwood steals the show with his violin solo, the riff slows down and then returns to the opening piano motif and the faster riff. The longest track on here, 'Leila' (9.35) starts off with piano and bouzouki, and quickly turns all heavy and very Zeuhl-like. Here I'm reminded of WEIDORJE's 'Elohim's Voyage' for a little while. The main body of the tune features scathing guitaring, amazing piano and an impressive rhythmic design with effective droney synth sweeps in the background. Some of the synth work on this track also recalls the stronger moments off MAGMA's 'Attahk' album. The last piece 'Marche Funebre' is slower and quieter, featuring a strong fretless bass-line, piano and guitar, winding down one heck of an album. 5 stars (maybe I suffer from fanboyitis....)
Tom Ozric | 5/5 |


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