Barbès is the area of Paris at the foot of the Sacré-Coeur, home to the city's thriving North African immigrant culture from which the membership of the Orchestra National de Barbès is drawn.
This fourth album from the eleven-man ensemble sleeve features an illustration of a bridge, possibly representing the musical bridges in their sound, which slips from the infectiously elastic Rai shuffle-groove of opener "Sidi Yahia-bnet Paris" to the Arabic/Balkan/Caribbean crossover ska of "Chkóun?", where the pumping beat does for Moroccan pop and gnawa music what Madness did for British music-hall. Elsewhere, droning bagpipes, accordion and buzzing ghimbri colour songs celebrating the sights, smells and sounds of their Parisian neighbourhood ("RDV Barbès").
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