The Oriental Clash
Rachid Taha (born 1958 in Oran, Algeria) is an algerian and french musician. His music is influenced by many different styles such as rai, techno, rock and punk. Based in Paris, France where he began his solo career after his beginnings as the leader of the French rock band “Carte De Séjour”, he is the only rocker singing in arabic. Politically-engaged, he has always stood up to defend democracy, tolerance and altruism against racism and discrimination. Produced by Steve Hillage, he was given full recognition by his peers thanks to his album Tekitoi in 2004, and in 2005 he has performed with Robert Plant, Patti Smith, Brian Eno.
Taha moved from Algeria to Alsace, France, where his father had already emigrated, in 1968. In 1981, while living in Lyon, France, Taha met Mohammed and Moktar Amini. The two of them, Rachid, Djamel Dif and Eric Vaquer would later form the band Carte De Séjour (“residence permit”) and record their first maxi single Carte de Séjour in 1983. Their first LP Rhoromanie, came out in 1984. Their second and last LP entitled Deux et Demi was released in 1986 and included their famous and ironic cover of Douce France, originally sung by Charles Trénet. The band dissolved in 1989.
In 1990 he went solo, moving into dance music. Teaming with the famed producer and ex-Gong guitarist Steve Hillage, he debuted in 1995 with a self-titled effort, followed a year later by Ole Ole.
Taha returned in 1998 with Diwan.
His 2000 release, Made in Medina, was recorded in Paris, London, Marrakech and New Orleans, reflecting the wide range of cultural influences that helped shape the recording.