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Thread: Algerian /Moroccan Autotune insanity

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    Default Algerian /Moroccan Autotune insanity

    I was in Tangier recently, switched the TV on and saw a normal Berber folk group doing their stuff on fiddles and drums. Then the female singer opened her mouth and out came the most outrageously autotuned melisma I've ever heard. Walking through the streets afterwards it seems at least half of the pop songs you hear in the bazaars and souks are tweaked with Autotune.

    Autotune gets a bad press from 'real music' fans (I'd love to hear a flamenco singer use it, but they would probably be crucified by purists) but I think it sounds great on vocal glissandos and Mariah Carey-type vocal acrobatics - and Arab/berber singing uses those all the time. Anyway, I've been looking for some of this stuff and here's a few of the things I've found



    Fatayet: Typically cheap video featuring a very nice, highly tweaked love duet.



    Cheba Djenet is the Cher of Berber autotune, as she apparently started the craze. This isn't her on the video, it's Lebanese popstrel Haifa Wehbe of whom we're all very fond round here.





    Ahouzar Jedba
    : Carpets, dancers, a fiddle, drums and voice altering software from Morocco.




    Cheb Wahid: typical north African rural-themed pop given a twist with voice modulating technology



    Cheb Adil : A chaabi song by cheb adil. Terrible video and pretty standard autotune but I like the organ solos.



    Cheb Adil el Miloudi: Obviously not the guy above, this guy's huge and this song has a beautiful extended intro. Check the cassette ad at the end!



    More vocal insanity from Cheba Djenet. great tune.



    Statia: Minimal autotune on this, but I love the oud. Please don't ask me what is going on the video. They pop into a cafe for a shawarma, she trims his beard while he's asleep and then it all kicks off with potions and a holy man.
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    This is a brilliant thread, thank you. You've heard the killer autotune track on "Music from Saharan Cellphones", I take it?
    "As technology has advanced, vinyl records are outdated as they are music from the 19th Century so only hipsters and elderly people buy vinyl records".

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    Here it is.
    "As technology has advanced, vinyl records are outdated as they are music from the 19th Century so only hipsters and elderly people buy vinyl records".

    Mixes for your delectation: http://www.mixcloud.com/danmatic/

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    Quote Originally Posted by BestDressedChicken View Post
    [

    Here it is.
    That's terrific. Malian and Senegalese singers must sound incredible when autotuned.
    I think it's the contrast with folk and traditional elements that really makes it fascinating to me. It's as if Irish folk bands all started using talk boxes and vocoders all of a sudden.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babycart View Post
    It's as if Irish folk bands all started using talk boxes and vocoders all of a sudden.
    Same thought occurred.... autotuned Sean Nós is a scary, yet bewitching prospect.
    Those funny cars won't make the teardrops start/ but way up there is where she broke my heart

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    I thought I'd replied again to this thread but obviously not. I got caught up in a row at work about halfway through the first writing. Never mind. The gist of what I was going to say was - with most of these records above, was surprises me is how good it sounds, and how natural. With the track I posted, I think the autotune completes everything perfectly, it doesn't feel like a forced development to me, just a natural extension of the sound. I'm currently listening to Cheb Adil el Miloudi track in another window and what strikes me is how well the autotune blends with the traditional drumming, piping and the vocal ululations.

    The track I posted is from an LP called "Music from Saharan Cellphones" and this literally is what it is - the compiler picked up all the tracks via Bluetooth when he was travelling. In lieu of a more developed network for digital distribution, people are trading tracks extensively via phones. This strikes me as the odd usage of technology that it's founders never conceived of. More later, but fantastic bloody thread. Thanks.
    "As technology has advanced, vinyl records are outdated as they are music from the 19th Century so only hipsters and elderly people buy vinyl records".

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    I'm well pleased you like this stuff as much as I do, BDC.
    There is absolutely loads of it, too. I've been searching keywords like cheb, cheba, tamazight and berber for a week or two and anything recent is almost always autotuned.

    One thought that occurred to me why it may have caught on so much is the adhan, the call to prayer which is chanted live several times daily by the muezzin, and is a constant in the lives of any urban North African. It's nearly always channeled through amps and loudspeakers, and never heard one that isn't horribly distorted.

    anyway, this minimal twanger by Cheb Aziz Boualam is the one I've been enjoying most today. It features extensive Skania truck footage and the obligatory plump girl doing a shimmy.

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    Algerian grand dame Cheba Dalila with nine minutes of atmospheric synthy rai and heavy pitch shifting.

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    Rachid Itri, from Agadir, is brilliant. Folk music, autotune and some excellent tassel twirling going on in this happy clip.
    The website on the clip is a treasure trove for cheaply made chleuh/Atlas/Berber videos with lots of autotune.

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    sounds like some north african version of dub music - disorientating and hypnotic and probably trippy as hell on that sticky north african resin. weird they apply effects to the voice and not the oud or whatever the stringed instrument is they are playing though (on scania trucks mans video).

    there are definately influences of f'ed up PA systems and speakers at play here. I remember hearing something really heavy playing out of a speaker strung up on pick up truck and it grabbed my immediately - asked someone who it was - got the cd - and it sounded so limp compared to the massive distortion the speaker had been putting it through.
    Chimptown, now twinned with Cockermouth, Penistone and Big Beaver, Pennsylvania..

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    Ear-opening thread (sorry I missed it the first time around). I really love these sounds - it all makes sense to me . Fascinating sounds and appropriation of music technology across global DIY markets - any other examples of unexpected auto tuning from other areas of the world?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitch View Post
    any other examples of unexpected auto tuning from other areas of the world?
    It's pretty standard in latin American reggaeton, although I've never heard it used in an interesting way. check out Millionaire With Autotune , if you can stand it, for a typical video featuring an ugly git pretending he's a playa.
    The mainstream Arab pop market seems to use it in the slick cosmetic way it's generally employed in Western pop. What's striking about the North African use is that it is so prevalent - no longer a studio technique, but something used in live performances, parties, weddings etc everywhere.

    I've no idea about what happens in Asia, and have only heard the odd thing about Africa further south. In Ghana, DJ Champion's Baako used the autotuned crying baby meme that was going around a while ago.

    In Spain there's a widespread loathing of autotune, partly based on cultural ideas of purity (no flamenco singer has dared to use it yet to my knowledge, although that would sound amazing), partly just an aping of the prevalent hatred of autotune you'll find throughout US/UK rock and pop communities. Predictably, some rappers who want to stick a middle finger up at all that is sacred have decided to use deliberately excessive autotune.

    EL Coleta - Morao
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