Bargou 08 – Targ

Album Review | Glitterbeat | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

Blues enthusiasts familiar with the opening track on Paul Oliver’s The Story of the Blues double LP set from 1969, will be familiar with the tribal chants of the Fra-Fra Tribesmen of Ghana, recorded by Oliver himself as an indication of what is believed to be the origins of what we now refer to as the Blues. In Bargou 08’s Targ, there’s a similar feel of authentic roots music being captured in its rawest form. In this case we shift from Ghana to the Bargou valley in the mountains of Tunisia along the Algerian border. Nidhal Yahyaoui has maintained some of the traditions of the region with his band, using traditional instruments alongside the relatively modern Moog synthesiser. The tribal, chant-like songs, some of which are over three hundred years old and each presented in the Targ dialect, form the basis of this album. Whether the trance-like rhythms of Bargou 08 can maintain an interest through the nine similar sounding grooves, there’s little dispute over the importance and validity of the capturing some of this indigenous traditional music.