Djmawi- Algerian fusion
Iraq isn't the only Islamic country that's trying to repair itself from a bloody history (remember the Battle of Algiers?) and now struggle with new battles over its future and identity. Algeria is also going through these changes but on a different scale and with much less news international news coverage (no American troops there, you know). Spurred on by an excellent article by Sonja Zekri reprinted in signandsight.com ("Alger la Blanche"), I found out about Djmawi, a group that exemplifies these internal struggles well, striving to make music that's not dislocated from its past but which also looks past its own borders for influences. Click on the link at their website to hear some of their music- I especially like the driving rhythm section behind their wailing vocals and delicate string-instruments. FYI, the website is in French for those who parlez vous- their management is in France, which should tell you something about their aspirations, not to mention their connection to their colonial past.