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Rahmann Rahmann album cover
4.23 | 75 ratings | 8 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Atlanta (5:26)
2. Nadiamina (6:23)
3. Ab (8:00)
4. Danse Sacrée (6:35)
5. Leila (9:38)
6. Marche Funèbre (5:00)

Total time 41:02

Bonus tracks on 1998 CD release:
7. Marche Funèbre (5:04)
8. Danse Sacrée (10:13)
9. Nadiamina (7:08)
10. Atlanta (4:51)

Total Time: 68:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Mahamad Hadi / electric, fretless, synth & quarter-tone guitars, oud, bouzouki, snitra, composer & producer
- Michel Rutigliano / acoustic & electric pianos, ARP Odyssey
- Gérard Prevost / acoustic & fretless basses, cello (7)
- Amar Mecharaf / drums, percussion
- Louis César Ewandé / percussion (1-6)

- Lisa Bois / vocals (1)
- Nadia Yamina Hadi / vocals (2)
- Didier Lockwood / electric violin (4)
- Ali Shaigan / violin (10)
- Joël Loviconi / electric piano (4)
- Sylvin Marc / fretless bass (2)
- Richard / ney (1)
- Gérard Kurdjian / tablas (1)
- Abdelmadjid Guemguem / darbuka (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Alain Robert

LP Polydor ‎- 2393 252 (1979, France)

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4261.AR (1998, France) With 4 bonus tracks (demos)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RAHMANN Rahmann ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RAHMANN Rahmann reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars RAHMANN could be described as an Algerian version of MAGMA, without vocals, mixed with a some MAHAHVISHNU influences. The rhythm section in this band is absolutely powerful. If you can imagine layers of percussion instruments playing around some powerful drumming (almost like the Middle-Eastern version of the percussion work on a Fela Kuti album) you will have some idea of their concept of rhythm. Add to that, complex guitar riffing (sometimes on Fretless guitar), aggressive Zeuhl-bass, dissonant keyboards, and you have the ingredients for some powerful music. The CD contains 6 tracks from the original album, as well as a few bonus live recordings of the same tracks. This is a must for fans of AREA's Middle-Eastern/Greek influenced compositions.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars In Prog Rock, Rahmann that leads Mahamad Hadi announced in 1978 has originality very much. The enchantment taste seen a consistent taste and everywhere as this Middle East will exceed the frame of Prog Rock of France. We might recall Mahavishnu Orchestra and Area only a little for a technical item. And, it is guessed that it is necessary to have received the major impact to Magma in the basis including the guest. It has already been formed in the 1970's, and they meet Magma and have been touched off. It is guessed that time and afterwards, at the time of be announced this album there were always networks with the musician though their material is clarified recently. The level of their music is considerably high. However, having fallen into the situation that was not able to be bought at once even with this album for which food was made for networks of Magma was true. There is a description according to the material of Japan when John McLaughlin intrudes into to the session of Mahamad with Bass Guitar or it comes in contact with Led Zeppelin in 1995. It is understood that this band acted jumping over the border reformative including the recording of live and the session.
Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Very rare release , debut and only album of French-Algerian band Rahmann. Music played is jazz-fusion with strong zeuhl influence ( two Magma musicians are participated), and it is not all! Two project founder musicians are of Algerian origin, and they bring strong Northern African element in this mix.

Very competent musicianship with hypnotic repetitive bass line, plenty of violins and strong Arabic scent in music. Some could name it Algerian Magma, but I think it wouldn't be very correct name - whenever zeul influence is strong, it is still jazz rock fusion, with some other elements, including European neo-classical music. Some wordless female vocals is presented, but music is mostly instrumental.

Possibly, some similarities with Italian Area presented as well, but not too much. In fact, you can hear there balanced mix of very European progressive rock with jazz fusion , based on Arabic folklore. But all mix is very cool, not passionable, as in case of Area, but more self-closed and hypnotic.

Perfect album for zeuhl and jazz fusion fans. Just too rare to be popular.

Not less than 4,5!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars RAHMANN is the project of Mahamad Hadi who's parents (African / Asian) moved from Algeria when Mahamad was a baby. Some cool stories in the liner notes about him getting into music and the bands he was involved with early on. One of his band members at the time, bassist Jean-Pierre was exposed to a lot of music along with Mahamad because Jean-Pierre's parents lent out their basement to local bands to practice quite often, so the two young men sat in on many rehearsals. What's surreal is that while Mahamad was helping out at a MAGMA concert in 1972, he met Vander and the band and convinced them to come over and practice in his friends basement. Blasquiz and Vander checked it out and agreed to bring the band over ! Another time Francis and Didier Lockwood who were between bands at the time stayed with Mahamad for a while and even played a gig with them and their band ! By the way Didier guests on this album. Another story in here I hadn't heard before was about MAGMA touring the UK in 1974 and hiring a young American female singer to sing backup on their tour. Her name was Chrissie Hynde (then unknown of course). She only stayed a short time then quit (haha). After RAHMANN broke up Mahamad started a new one with Benoit Wideman on keyboards but the tour they were practicing for was cancelled so the band broke up.

RAHMANN play a Jazz / Zeuhl brand of music with a strong ethnic flavour. Mahamad plays Bouzouki, Oud and Snitra, while a guest plays tablas bringing that ethnic flavour out. I should mention too that Gerard Prevost (ZAO) plays bass here. Nice. The music here is absolutely fantastic ! It's exotic and dark at times with lots of keyboards and percussion. Prevost is prominant on bass and the drummer is incredible. My favourite track is "Leila". The way it turns dark and experimental before a minute is killer. It kicks back in after 2 1/2 minutes. Love the drumming after 4 1/2 minutes and the guitar that follows. A very Zeuhlish track. The piano is great too. Intense stuff.

The whole recording is amazing though. This was a huge discovery for me.

Review by Tom Ozric
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....)
Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars Algerian music hooks up with the Zeuhl possy.

A freak of nature this one is. Although forged in France 1980, the Rahmann album stretches way out beyond the confines of this vast rural country. With main man Mahamad Hadi's overt Arabic tendencies (and genes), this venture slithers its way into the sand coloured dunes of Northern Africa. He mainly plays the guitar with a docile manner about it - recalling what John McLaughlin could've sounded like, if he'd lay off the coffee for a while, but from time to time he whips out the ol bouzouki and oud, and you get the delirious sensation of being zoomed swiftly down by a desert lake oasis mirage.

Teaming up with both Didier Lockwood and Liza Deluxe off of Magma as well as the smooth stylings of bass man Gerard Prevost from Zao, Hadi neatly taps into the bouncy jazz rock of the Zeuhl generation. On here it's magnified a thousand times in a continuous stream of African percussion that unlike the relentless onslaught of fellow fusionnaire Santana and his never ending bongos, deliberately seeks out to embellish the music in a subtle manner. Hearing this back again today, it remains a mystery to me why the Zeuhl rockers didn't experiment more with what sounds like a match made in heaven - the incessant propulsion of France together with the ritualistic and hectic tribal rhythms of the African plains.

Personally I've always heard this record as a (damn near) instrumental Zeuhl one. Not to invoke too much meaning into the made up boxes or anything like that, I still hear the DNA of it all - and find it unmistakeably linked to what Magma instigated on their prodigal release MDK from 1973. Taking the choral bursts out of the equation, doesn't make Rahmann any less throbbing, bouncy and teutonic though - heck it might even have helped underline the all important ingredient of this kind of music: the rhythm section. Sure the music is lead on by Hadi's guitar and remarkable sense of melody, but what really gives this thing it's genuine persona, it's natural aura, is the distinct combination of drums and bass.

With a strong foundation underneath his feet, Hadi, and especially Michel Rutigliano with his big meaty piano gulps and futuristic ARP licks, wrap this baby up in a timeless infinitely melodic dressing. There are times on this album that are as slow and pensive like the long blue night, where the two of them sound like kids following a frightened kiss in bare moonlight.

In my honest opinion, I find that Rahmann should be the perfect introduction to the rare breed of people who find themselves fearful of the French branching of jazz rock. This one gives you all the zest and umphh from light-less corridors of music, that far too often are associated with strange vocals from a startled opera singer in the shower.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
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.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Rahmann was Algerian-french instrumental one-record-band and their music have been described as symbiosis between elements of Eastern/Arabian music and French zeuhl- jazz-rock. Two members of this combo were Algerians (brothers Mahamad Hadi on guitar etc. and Amar Mecharaf on drums/percussion). ... (read more)

Report this review (#60370) | Posted by Rainer Rein | Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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