Shams Dinn / شمس دين / Smiling C

Born in Morocco. A breakdancer in Lyon. Discovered when he was passed the mic in Paris. Shams Dinn`s solitary 7”, Hedi Bled Noum, was produced by Jess-Jemel Dif, who had worked on contemporary recordings for stars such as Cheb “King Of Rai” Khaled, and Chaba “N`Sel Fik” Fadela. A hit in both France and North Africa, the 7 landed Shams an album deal with a major. Which he subsequently lost when refused to switch his lyrics from Arabic to French, when the First Gulf War kicked off.

New label, Smiling C, have rescued the 7, plus demos, and material from the aborted LP. Drum machines rattle around. Programmed like hand percussion. Clipped guitar chords carry the Funk. Vocals are both sung and rapped. Chants are sampled. Tempos vary between zithered Hip Hop and Chicago House. The former in the manner of Nancy Noise Future favourite, Sinead O`Connor`s I Want (Your Hands On Me), and Sandy B`s recently Invisible City Editions rescued cassette. The latter transporting Farley Jackmaster Funk`s Love Can`t Turn Around to Algiers. Predating Mark Kamins` more well known Sheik Fawaz project. Global funky alternatives that should appeal to anyone who picked up Left Ear`s Minoru Fushimi retrospective, or those Digital Zandoli Zouk compilations. Combining Ofra Haza`s Galbi with Shahara-Ja`s I`m An Arabian Knight. The Pop / Disco moments coming over like the Zang Tumb Tuum of Act`s Snobbery And Decay or Art Of Noise`s Dragnet. No small feat, considering Sham and Jess-Jemel`s technical 4-track limitations. All of it sounding Shoom-tastic to my ears.

Reference Links

Cheb “King Of Rai” Khaled

Chaba “N`Sel Fik” Fadela

Sinead O`Connor

Sandy B

Sheik Fawaz

Digital Zandoli

Minoru ‘Hoodoo’ Fushimi 

Galbi 

Shahara-Ja

Snobbery And Decay

Dragnet

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