Approved: Bargou 08
By Andy Malt | Published on Thursday 1 December 2016
The village of Bargou lies in a valley in the Tunisian highlands, close to the Algerian border. Cut off from the rest of the country, it has developed its own culture and musical tradition, which has been largely undocumented.
Born in Bargou, musician Nidhal Yahyaoui sought to change this, embarking on a project that led to the formation of Bargou 08, and their debut album ‘Targ’. Released on 17 Feb next year, the record combines traditional songs with more modern production and arrangement.
“Nidhal began collecting songs from all over the valley more than ten years ago”, explains producer Sofyann Ben Youssef. “No one had ever done that before. He listened to the women, to the village elders, and he learned all the variations on the songs. This is his passion, and he asked me to join him”.
He continues: “It was important for us to record [in Bardou] and to use some local musicians on the record. But we also wanted the young people in the village to see that something could be created right there and that they didn’t need a lot of money to do it, to inspire them”.
The finished album impressively balances tradition with contemporary sounds, creating something that works both as a record of the songs and an engaging, cohesive record.
Listen to ‘Mamchout’ from the album here:
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