Album: Watcha Clan, Radio Babel (Piranha)

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The Independent Culture

The diverse make-up of Marseille-based Watcha Clan's French-Arabic crossover groove music is neatly reflected in the racial background of singer Sista K, daughter of an Ashkenazi Jewish Polish mother and a Sephardic Jewish Berber father from Algeria.

Like Dub Colossus, they operate at the confluence where rock, dub and house meet Afro-Arabic elements such as duduk reeds, oud and the propulsive gumbri bass of Nassim Kouti, whose itchy texture is at the heart of the band's music, binding together the inventive sample-collages of Suprem Clem. Lyrically, Radio Babel returns again and again to the theme of international cultural fellowship, a motif established in the versions of "With or without the Wall", which bookend the album: "The land is free," sings Sista K with engaging simplicity, "so why walls?"

DOWNLOAD THIS With or without the Wall; We Are One; Fever Is Rising