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RAHMANN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • France


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Rahmann biography
French one-shot (from 1977) Rahmann plays in a fairly unique style, mixing fusion and Arabic flavours with a slight zeuhl feel courtesy of explosive bass lines and repetitive rhythmic patterns. Their music could be characterized as jazz fusion with zeuhl-associated musicians performing on it (Didier Lockwood and Liza Deluxe (Magma), and Gerard Prevost (Zao)). The central point of all music is Mahamad Hadi's guitar sound, heavily influenced by Mahavishnu Orchestra. Another musical layers are bouzouki and oud sounds. The mix is finished by energetic drumming, keyboards and some North African percussion. Whenever pure instrumental, it could be named as "instrumental Zeuhl" with Middle Eastern influence ( what isn't strange, whenever band's leader is of Algerian origin).

This is a very competently produced album, with very clear sound and excellent instrumental performances. Recommended to anyone who thinks a cross between zeuhl a la Magma and Eastern-tinged fusion a la Mahavishnu Orchestra sounds like an interesting proposition.

Band's line up :

Mahamad Hadi, synth-guitar, electric guitar, fretless guitar, oud, bouzouki, snitra;

Amar Mecharaf, drums, percussion;

Michel Rutigliano, acoustic piano, grand piano, ARP Odyssey;

Gérard Prevost, acoustic bass, fretless bass;

Louis-César Ewande, percussion;

with Nadia Yamina Hadi, vocal; Didier Lockwood, violin; Sylvain Marc, fretless bass; Richard Gérard Kurdjian Guem, ney, tablas, darbouka; Liza Deluxe, vocals; Joël Loviconi, electric piano; Ali Shaigan, violin

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RahmannRahmann
Import
Musea 1978
Audio CD$19.99
$61.21 (used)
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4.26 | 52 ratings
Rahmann
1980

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RAHMANN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rahmann by RAHMANN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.26 | 52 ratings

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Rahmann
Rahmann Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

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.

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 Rahmann by RAHMANN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.26 | 52 ratings

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Rahmann
Rahmann Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by 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....)

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 Rahmann by RAHMANN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.26 | 52 ratings

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Rahmann
Rahmann Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Rahmann by RAHMANN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.26 | 52 ratings

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Rahmann
Rahmann Jazz Rock/Fusion

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!

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 Rahmann by RAHMANN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.26 | 52 ratings

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Rahmann
Rahmann Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Rahmann by RAHMANN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.26 | 52 ratings

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Rahmann
Rahmann Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Rainer Rein

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). In addition - about French musicians we can notice for example ex-ZAO bassist Gerard Prevost's name written on the sleeve. Anyway - the playing on this record seems a bit static. My personal fave is surely the most energetic and even psychedelic tune called Leila. So we can compare again the original LP versions and four alternate takes of the same tunes added on this CD version. And again and again these originals are more interesting. Maximum 3,5 stars!

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 Rahmann by RAHMANN album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.26 | 52 ratings

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Rahmann
Rahmann Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Steve Hegede
Prog Reviewer

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.

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