Surely a contender for renaissance human if there ever was one. At one time participating in ground-breaking medical scientific research, in another a relentless road-trip, hoovering up rare records and tapes, in the nooks and crannies of France, Algeria, or any country that he happens to land in. And then there’s his long standing show for Rinse France.
Following his slamming mix for the Japan Blues show on NTS last year, he kindly offered up a selection for Japan Blues’ first tape release. Algeria is the focus of this tape, taking a brief dip into Sameer’s broad collection, coinciding with his other research, for his forthcoming documentary film about the social history of Rai music.
Words from the Hadj: “The medehates are traditional vocal formations of women from western Algeria. Their main role is to give some compliments to the future wife during a wedding, and pray to all the saints through long songs which could last for hours, until reaching a sort of transcendental state amplified by looped percussions, traditional flute, and violon notes. Exclusively for women, no men (including young boys) admitted. This ceremonial tradition gave an intimate space for women to speak out about taboo topics like men-women relationships, love, sins like alcohol consumption etc. Since then, some of them started freely to mention all of that in this small circle and some of them have been recorded live for release on 7″. I picked up a few from my collection in order to make this mix. They represent one of the most powerful and wildest roots of the raw traditional form of rai which appeared in the 50/60s in Algeria.”