NEW ALBUM CHOUF ! (LOOK!) released in August 2020 !
Recorded live in Bath, England, at Real World Studios, under the artistic direction of Justin Adams.
Hocine Boukella, the future Sidi Bemol, was born in Algiers in 1957. He grew up in the Belcourt district.
In the 80s, he studied biology at the University of Bab Ezouar, while teasing the guitar and the pen. He evolves in the underground scene where the innovative maghrebian music is in gestation. He draws his first comic books, but his drawings were pilloried by an overcautious censor.
In 1985, he arrived in Paris for a PhD in population genetics, but in 1988, after the October protests in Algiers, he decides to leave the world of science to concentrate on art. He publishes press cartoons in various magazines in France and in Algeria. He designs posters and album covers, he participates in exhibitions and does many odd jobs.
With a few hardship fellows, he sets up a rock band “which participates in more building sites than concerts”. He had difficulties with migration documents and went through a tough period of hiding.
In 1997, he created and directed the Association L’Usine in Arcueil, with artist friends, most of them Algerians who had just arrived in France. This collective occupies and manages a building that has been transformed into rehearsal and recording rooms and graphic designers’ workshops. The place quickly became a meeting point for the Algerian scene in Paris, and a laboratory of artistic creation where many Algerian artists matured musical experiences of the 2000’s: Orchestre National de Barbès, Gaâda Diwane de Bechar, Mad in Paris, Raï kum, Thalweg…
In 1998, he finally released his first album: “Cheikh Sidi Bemol”, an inimitable mix of traditional music and electric guitars. He then released an album ” Live à Alger “ recorded at the Bledstock festival, then the albums ” El Bandi “ and ” Gourbi Rock “ which were a great success in Algeria. These first records mark by the originality of a new style, mixing blues, rock and local music (gnawi, chaabi, kabyle, etc.) in a tonic and humorous synthesis.
In 2007, the L’Usine adventure comes to an end and Sidi Bemol devotes himself fully to CSB Productions, a label he created to be free to produce his own music and that of his friends (today this label gathers about ten artists).
A new period begins, one of experimentation in all directions. With the complicity of the Kabyle poet Ameziane Kezzar, Hocine Boukella revisits sailor songs gleaned
from the four corners of the globe to adapt them into Kabyle. Two albums are published, “Izlan Ibahriyen vol. I and II (Chants Marins Kabyles, 1 and 2)”.
In 2010, he returns to the land of Celtic music which he had already explored with Thalweg ten years earlier and which he joyfully mixes with Kabyle, chaâbis and chaouis tunes in an album paying tribute to the three cities that have nourished him culturally: “Paris Alger Bouzeguène”, the third being the city of origin of his parents.
In 2014, he brings together young jazzmen freshly graduated from the CMDL with gypsy musicians from Radjasthan to record the album “Afya”.
In 2017, he creates at the Antoine Vitez Theatre, a musical tale entitled “L’Odyssée de Fulay”, a show halfway between theatre and concert, directed by Ken Higelin.
Hocine Boukella has never stopped his work as a draftsman. He published several collections of drawings and his works can be seen on his blog: ” Le Zembrek “.
With this tenth album “Chouf !” (Look!), released in August 2020 and dedicated to the “Smile Revolution” and the Algerian youth, Sidi Bemol returns to his first love: traditional rhythms coloured with blues and rock.
3 SHOWS ON TOUR IN 20-21 :
– GOURBI ROCK / CHOUF ! *
*For this project we book only for Germany, Belgium, Austria and Luxemburg.
Contact booking France and the rest of the World : Koudju
bush: Chouf! is a rock project, a real one, flowing with energies that irrigate the veins of a unique artist, Hocine Boukella, here more charismatic than ever at the helm of his band, Sidi Bemol. It is indeed rock music that inoculated him one fine day the virus of music, forging his desire to sing and take a guitar in hand. Chouf! is a sharp come back to his first love, an electric manifesto that
escapes the pitfalls of fashions thanks to its refined design. And if we recognize the Algerian musician’s singular environment, which we have known for almost thirty years, the graphic artist – Elho has more than one string to his bow – is never far away, putting texts on paper as he would do with drawings.
Often in one single image or strip that would say everything in a very short time. So, “gourbi”, “gnawi” or any other name used to define his idiom: whatever… Here, musical form and anthropological substance are in harmony to get to the point and tell life.
– L’ODYSSEE DE FULAY, Antique Berber songs
– CHANTS DE MARINS KABYLES – “Izlan Ibaḥriyen”