On this his 8th studio album Rachid Taha’s "Bonjour" is no ordinary greeting. It is not the standard "bonjour" uttered reflexively in the street or on the telephone, but a more generous one reflecting Rachid’s nature. Rachid has been offering to get acquainted for nearly 30 years now. For all that time, his music has been saying "bonjour", "bongiorno", "hola", "hello", "as salaamu alaikum" and "guten tag", greeting others with tireless, friendly enthusiasm. Already on the Made In Medina album in 2000, he sang "Come on over!"(Garab). On this record recorded in Paris and New York, he continues with "Come here" (Agi), "Hi" (Sélu) and above all "I love you" (Mon Amour - My Love). After asking "Where are you going?" (Ya Rayah), he adds "Where are you from?" (Mine Jaï), not out of any suspicion, but because he sees in other people that part of himself where shared dreams and desires are reflected. Since the 80s, Rachid has been consolidating his musical world on the basis of the exchange, movement and circulation of people, ideas, cultures and sounds. From rai to rock and electro to song, his landscape has continued to broaden. Now, on this new album, it forms an expanding, increasingly fertile, fresh-flowing confluent where he invites his listeners to take part in unforgettable festivities. This structured, appealing, open attitude has won him international recognition. Damon Albarn invited him to join his Africa Express project, ex-Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant has cited him as an example and he is admired by U2 and Coldplay producer Brian Eno, who is now a friend (the two have given concerts in St. Petersburg and Sydney). Over the last few years, singer without borders Rachid Taha has appeared in Russia, Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Vietnam and Mexico, not to mention his native Algeria, adoptive country France, and the United States, land of influences, where he recorded this new album.
"I wanted to change my way of doing things", admits Rachid, who has also changed his headgear. Goodbye beret and porkpie hat, hello Stetson. Like J.R. in Dallas? "No, like John Wayne in Rio Bravo!" he insists, ever a stickler for the proper reference. This time, he has headed out West. Initially, he worked on demos at home near Paris. Then he carried on writing the 10 new songs with Gaëtan Roussel, Louise Attaque singer and personal friend. "My albums have always been partnerships. Before, it was with Steve Hillage. We worked together for a long time. With Gaëtan, everything fell into place almost immediately and the record was the fastest I’ve made in my career." You draw faster in a Stetson, one might say! The second phase was in New York, where Mark Plati, an Italian-American producer who has worked with many great names (David Bowie, The Cure, Alain Bashung, the Rita Mitsouko and Louise Attaque) welcomed him to his studio, Alice’s Restaurant. The Big Apple felt both familiar and new to Rachid, conducive to the perfect state of mind for a project of this kind.
Track listing:01. Je t’aime mon amour
03. Ha baby
04. Bonjour (with Gaetan Roussel
05. Min Jai
06. Mabrouk AAlik
07. Ila Iiqa
08. This is a Arabian Song
Arabian & Belly Dance & Turkish
Africa, Algeria, Arabic, World Music