Hassan Ideddir’s 1989 single “Atfalouna” sees an expanded repress courtesy of Dark Entries. Born to Berber parents in Morocco, Ideddir began making music at the age of 10 after being discovered singing in the stairwell by his school’s headmaster. Encouraged by his peers, he began playing concerts, and his status grew. In 1987, he played a string of sold-out concerts in Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakesh, in support of a children’s charity. The success of these concerts secured him a record deal, and he went to Paris to record his debut single “Atfalouna” in 1988.
Released in 1989 on WEA, “Atfalouna” is a dense slab of multi-genre pop. An opening wash of digital synths and reverberant vocals quickly falls away to a cascade of orchestra hits and pulsing electronic drums; the monotone chant-rap of a female chorus collides with Ideddir’s soaring melismatic vocals, pleading against the injustice and hunger in the world. While Hip-Hop and New Beat borrowed tropes from Arabic music, “Atfalouna” inverts the gesture, resituating orchestra hits and sampling techniques within a Moroccan music framework. A shorter instrumental version follows, which preserves the female vocals. Also included are two tracks not on the original 12”. “Ibina” is a moody, downtempo instrumental that sounds like a cult Italo B-side. The record closes with “Ydouchababe,” an electro number driven by funky guitars, electronic claps, huge horn riff. Here, Ideddir sings of a youth festival honoring Hassan II, former king of Morocco.
All songs were remastered by George Horn. The sleeve is a replica of the original 12” cover art, featuring Ideddir set in a cheeky collage of clocks, columns, and camels. Also included is a postcard with a photo of Hassan, as well as lyrics in both Arabic and English.