Areski - Un Beau Matin
Areski is certainly best known for his contributions to the early repertoire of French musician Brigitte Fontaine. Her classic albums L'Incdendie, Brigitte Fontaineand Comme A La Radio although stylized through her own aesthetic, contain compositions mostly written by her partner both in life and music, Areski Belkacem. Un Beau Matin was originally released in 1970 immediately following Comme A La Radioand during what would ultimately prove to be the most fruitful creative period of both Areski and Fontaine's careers. Areski's style is hard to pin down. The songs feel both foreign and traditional but at the same time further out of bounds than any of their peers. It is undoubtedly French in its posture but by using Middle Eastern instrumentation and stark experimentation, the end result is more effective and strange than anything else categorized as Eastern-influenced psychedelic folk. Some of the songs feel as if they are exercises in seeing how much can be stripped away from a composition. Picture early Tyrannosaurus Rex albums sung in French but performed in Algeria and you may be able to imagine what Un Beau Matinis up to. Songs in which scraping of metal on wood is a reasonable accompanying instrument to Areski's voice and tabla, or simply the sound of heavy breathing over a flute. If these freaky characteristics speak to you like they speak to me, Areski is your man. Fontaine's first four albums have been a personal standard for freakish folk music ever since I first heard them and Un Beau Matin is no less essential. (Adam)
Check out a track here.