Mohamed Lamouri

Mohamed Lamouri

Saturday

After 15 years of performing for passersby at Paris’s Line 2 Metro, Algerian musician Mohamed Lamouri’s trademark ragged voice and buoyant Casio keyboard melodies are reaching ears all over the world. Lamouri’s 2019 LP ‘Underground Raï Love’ demonstrates his unusual lo-fi take on Algerian raï folk music, a movement known over the decades for its free radicalism in expressing ‘taboo’ subjects like love songs, youth culture and hedonism.

Traditionalists and Salafists have attempted many times over to censor raï music, and though Lamouri is visually impaired, he clearly recognizes the vital genesis of his work: one of his biggest heroes is Cheb Hasni, the popular raï singer who was tragically murdered in 1994.