Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar

  • Apocalypse Across the Sky [Axiom, 1992] A-
  • Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar [Point Music, 2000] *

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Apocalypse Across the Sky [Axiom, 1992]
Apocalypse my ellipsis, pipes of Pan my patootie. Forget the delusions of grandeur this Tunisian mountain music has given rock and rollers since Brian Jones expected to fly and settle for a few facts, because the facts are grand enough. We have here an incontrovertibly sacred music with no regard for what any theocrat would validate as decorum or beauty. Dominated by screechy horns, it's loud, fast, percussive, and, whatever its scalar conventions, dissonant. Not only is it exciting because it's ugly, it's supposed to be exciting because it's ugly. That's why Bill Laswell went and recorded it again. And a good thing too, because a quarter century after Jones died, we rock and rollers know its scales well enough to find it beautiful too. Excitingly ugly we already knew about it. A-

Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar [Point Music, 2000]
as meddling goes, better Talvin Singh's ethnotechnics than Brian Jones's psychedelics ("Up to the Sky, Down to the Earth," "Jamming in London") *