IN the 20 or so years since he appeared on the scene in France, Rachid Taha has taken his themes of exile, alienation and racism to a large international audience. Many have heard his music unknowingly. The growling
Barra Barra ( Outside) was rumble of his Scott ’ s
Black used to great effect in Ridley Hawk Down. From his musical beginnings in Lyons with Carte de Sejour ( residence
’ permit) in the 80s, Taha has mixed his Algerian heritage with electronic, dance music and grunge, creating an inimitable and potent sound. Two cover versions of popular songs offer appropriate musical bookends to these 15 tracks. In 1987 Carte de Sejour released a controversial cover of
Trenet ’ s Charles 1943 wartime
Douce France . Banned, it was taken up as a cause celebre song against the racism then appearing in France. His recent Arabicised
Clash ’ s version of the anthemic Rock the Casbah has received benediction from former Clash guitarist and co- author Mick Jones. Sometimes irreverent, Taha brings together tradition with the swagger of rock.
The Definitive Collection Rachid Taha Wrasse/ Shock