Boomkat Product Review:
New beat-adjacent Raï zingers from belgo-moroccan artist Cheb Runner, 100% on the money for fans of the OG late ‘80s sound or its mystic modern echoes a la Offen Music, Arab Acid, even Christian Love Forum/LAE joints, Cheba Wahida or DJ Plead
With previous form for Planet Trip beside DJ Sofa, and shots on Ransom Note and Les Disques Bongo Joe, Cheb Runner comes to our attention with a finely measured blend of sleek, slow-rolling electro sophistication and oriental melody just how the fat belgian bastards used to make it (literally, think Herman Gillis & Jo Casters cod-orientalism, or reams of other 12”s by one hit Henri’s from the late ‘80s Lowlands). More respectfully, it recalls the contemporaneous fusions of Ahmed Ben Ali or Hassan Ideddir in North Africa, and Cheba Wahida in this century
Yessir we’re a bit smitten with this one. ’3097.7km / كم’ appears to be titled for the rough distance from Belgium to Morocco, and sets the tone with hypnotic rolling drums, acid bass, Bladerunner arps and flash string stabs, before ‘Raibotic Love / الحب الرايبوتي’ galvanises artificial flesh to those bones with ruder vocoder and machine rhythm. ‘Drarai Telecom / اتصالات الدراري’ doubles down the kinkiness with shades of Teknokrat’s and Chris & Cosey’s ‘He’s An Arabian’, and ‘Molenbeat’ hails the north African-dominated Molenbeek area of Brussels with a killer finishing move of scything stabs and trills for the sexiest dancers. Take our money, this is class!