Rachid Taha: Je Suis Africain review – a rollicking posthumous release


Recorded before his death in 2018, the 16th and final solo album of Rachid Taha cannot escape the shadow of his loss. Born in Algeria, raised in France, but a citizen of rock’n’roll, Taha pogoed over boundaries, torching genres as he went. It’s fitting that the last album from a key player in Damon Albarn’s early Africa Express lineups should incorporate pan-African zeal.

Late-comers to Taha’s polyglot punk chanson will find it thoroughly accessible, however. As ever, you can hear his symbiotic relationship with the Clash from moment one: Ansit opens with a rolling swagger that never lets up, even as Taha filches instrumentation from radically different traditions and throws them into a panoply of styles.

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