We love Gilb’R and his evergreen Versatile Records at Test Pressing. Few imprints have negotiated the combination of longevity and, errr, versatility with such panache. And here they come steaming off the blocks with their first release for 2019.
It’s a reissue of two tracks that were previously released on cassette in the 1980s by Algerian artist Nourdine Staifi and freshly mastered by studio genius I:Cube. There’s a definite feel of these two pieces having travelled through time waiting for their moment, which feels fitting given that Nordine’s dedication to the modernisation of Algerian music. Globally people’s ears are more attuned to what previously would be chucked in the ‘world music’ section, which is a damn shame given Staifi’s premature passing at age 33 in 1989.
This is exuberant, vibrant stuff that leaps out of the speakers demanding your attention. A side ‘Aye Lelie Lelou’ is house tempo, direct and to the point, whereas the B ‘Goultili Bye Bye’ rides on a slack kinda cod reggae skank. Both share the sheer emotional pull of Nourdine’s voice.
Lovely archival release from the ever reliable Versatile that will surely get many plays on open-minded contemporary dancefloors. Highly recommended!
‘Aye Leli Lelou’ is out on February 1st on Versatile Records