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

(Naïve/Believe)

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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