Tekitoi Who Are You (Rachid Taha)
Rachid Taha has gotten older, but he hasn't mellowed. Tekitoi? comes nearly 25 years into his career as France's dissident punk-rock pensant, and it's title is street slang meaning something like "Who the @%#! are you?" as spat by Roger Daltrey. The Algerian-born Taha has had at least as many incarnations as the Who's frontman -- he's wandered from punk to funk to electronica to largely acoustic North African music to, most recently, a hard-edged combination of all the above. Reacting angrily to fundamentalist extremism and Western paranoia, Taha unleashes an album that pulses with street outrage. The song titles alone sum up the sentiment: "Li Fet Met" - (What is past is dead and gone); "H'asbu-Hum" (Ask them why); and "Nahseb" (I count). The cover image, too, speaks volumes. Where Taha once tweaked French prejudice by peroxiding his hair and donning green contact lenses, Tekitoi? presents him bearded, swarthy, disheveled, and only somewhat bemused -- Am I a rock star, he asks, or a "terrorist"? Taha toys with the ambivalence, even throwing in a cover of "Rock the Casbah," redone from the sheikh's point of view. While a tribute to Joe Strummer, it's also a nod to another musical insurgent preached Combat Rock and pled for ghetto defendants. With this snarling collection, Rachid Taha proves that, indeed, punk's not dead. Its bold challenges, snotty attitude, and the serious social inequities behind them remain, and the din of a disenfranchised world is only growing louder.
- Release Date:
- Wrasse Records
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