Album: Houria Aichi and Hijaz Car, Riders of the Aures, (Accords Croises)

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The Independent Culture

The riders of the title are herdsmen in mountainous north-east Algeria, and these songs reflect every aspect of Berber courtship.

Houria Aichi, acclaimed ambassador of her region's music, learned these songs from her grandmother, together with the vocal techniques needed to sing them, including a hurried half-yodel to denote the urgency of her desire. The conservatoire-trained band puts its expertise on traditional instruments to stirring use.

Pick of the album: 'Invocation' to enter the mystical Berber world

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