Halalium

Halalium represents the new wave of Arab electronica, from Morocco by way of New York and London. U-Cef keeps it all well rooted, however, with the Maghreb running deep throughout his music and acoustic instruments playing an important part in the sound; the closer, "Gnasaid," for example, is largely acoustic, revolving around the sintir with its flat desert tones. But listen elsewhere and there's plenty of house and hip-hop in the mix (check out "Aalash Kwawna" with its English rap and curious violin playing by an old Arab) and a flamenco influence that pervades "The Moorish Matador." A lot of the disc, however, returns to the Moroccan Gnawa sensibility, as on "Hijra," possibly the most complete piece on the album, which brings together all the elements - the English and Arabic rapping and desert guitar from Justin Adams - in perfect harmony with U-Cef's beats. He takes music into a territory that's new, with the vista completely open and available, and charts a first, exciting course through it. Where U-Cef will take it from here remains to be seen, but the potential is as limitless as the Sahara. (Chris Nickson, All Music Guide)

Halal tracks on this CD:
  1. Moorish matadoor
  2. Aalash Kwa
  3. Tagazoot
  4. Hijra
  5. Gazel fatma
  6. Halal monk
  7. Marrakech Raggamuffins
  8. Bouhala
  9. DJ Faisal
  10. Maghreb
  11. Sonic Moor
  12. Gnasaid

Released: 13 March 2000
Label: Apartment 22