"Sahara Blue"
1. I'll Strangle You (feat. Gerard Depardieu & Anneli Drecker)
2. First Evening (feat. John Cale)
3. Ophelie (feat. Dominique Dalcan & Ryuichi Sakamoto)
4. Lines (feat. Barbara Gogan)
5. Youth (feat. Lisa Gerrard & Brendan Perry)
6. Hapolot Kenym (feat. Sussan Deyhim, Samy Birnbach & Ryuichi Sakamoto)

1. I'll Strangle You (feat. Gerard Depardieu & Anneli Drecker)
2. First Evening (feat. John Cale)
3. Ophelie (feat. Dominique Dalcan & Ryuichi Sakamoto)
4. Lines (feat. Barbara Gogan)
5. Youth (feat. Lisa Gerrard & Brendan Perry)
6. Hapolot Kenym (feat. Sussan Deyhim, Samy Birnbach & Ryuichi Sakamoto)
8. Sahara Blue (feat. Barbara Gogan)
9. Amdyaz (feat. Khaled & Malka Spigel)
10. Black Stream (feat. Lisa Gerrard & Brendan Perry)
11. Harar et les Gallas (feat. Ketema Mekonn & Ryuichi Sakamoto)
12. Lettre Au Directeur Des Messageries Maritimes (feat. Richard Bohringer, Sussan Deyhim & Bill Laswell)

A tribute to French poet Arthur Rimbaud, conceived and directed by Hector Zazou, and featuring John Cale, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Gérard Depardieu, David Sylvian, Bill Laswell, Khaled, Tim Simenon, Richard Bohringer, Brendan Perry & Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance), as well as artists from the Crammed/Made To Measure roster:  Dominique Dalcan, Anneli Drecker (Bel Canto), Lone Kent, Barbara Gogan, Samy Birnbach & Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact), Sussan Deihim, Steve Shehan, Vincent Kenis, and other vocalists and musicians from Morocco, Ethiopia, Spain, Japan, France, England, and the USA. The poems are sung and spoken in English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew.

Sahara Blue came out in 1992, and became one of Hecor Zazou's most successful albums.
Here's an excerpt from the original press release: the (by now largely outdated) mini-biogs of the participants:

Who’s Who in Sahara Blue, A-Z

Samy Birnbach was the lead singer with cult band Minimal Compact, and will soon be releasing the first album by his new combo The Gruesome Twosome.

Richard Bohringer occupies a peculiar place in French cinema. He’s mostly familiar to foreign audiences through his parts in ‘Diva”, and in Peter Greenaway’s “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover”.

Velvet Underground founding member John Cale has been a Rimbaud fan for a long time. He made a remarkable appearance at the multi-media event which was at the origin of this project: the 24-hour  long tribute to Rimbaud which took place at La Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris.

American-born guitarist Kent Condon is now based in France. He’s worked with Rhys Chatham and on Zazou’s “Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses”; currently working on his first solo album.

Dominique Dalcan‘s debut album (one third sung in English, two-thirds in French) came out last year, and was unanimously hailed as a major revelation by the French media.

Sussan Deihim: the New York-based, Iranian-born vocalist extraordinaire  who is equally at ease with electronic music and Persian tradition. She has often collaborated with Richard Horowitz, with whom she recorded the album “Desert Equations”.

France’s foremost movie actor Gérard Depardieu’s latest screen appearances include “Green Card”,  “Cyrano de Bergerac”, and the upcoming Ridley Scott epic “1492”. 

Performing with Gérard Depardieu on “I’ll Strangle You” is another extraordinary vocalist:    Anneli Drecker, who is the female half of Norwegian band Bel Canto (they have released  three albums on Crammed Discs, the latest being “Shimmering, Warm and Bright”).

Barbara Gogan, the Irish lead vocalist  from The Passions (who shot to fame in the early eighties with their now classic track “I’m in Love with a German Film Star”),  is writing material for her solo album, and is part of Zazou’s new  touring unit, the Sahara Blue Band.

Kenji Jammer (from Japan) and Guy Sigsworth (from the UK) are two of Tim Simenon’s regular collaborators.

Vincent Kenis is a musician (he was in the Honeymoon Killers and Aksak Maboul),  a producer (Zap Mama),  and a specialist of African music (he’s recorded Pygmy music in Cameroon, and works on compilation of Congolese pop from the '50s).

Khaled: Algeria’s prince of Raï Music is currently reaching a wider audience with his recent album, which was produced by Michael Brook and Don Was.

Algerian oud player Nabil Khalidi has worked with Steve Hillage and Rachid Taha.

Bill Laswell founded the Material collective in NYC in the early '80s, became famous worldwide after producing & co-writing “Rock It” for Herbie Hancock, and has since then produced people as diverse as Yoko Ono, P.I.L., Mick Jagger, and Moroccan Gnawa musicians. 

Percussionist & producer Keith Leblanc was part of rap’s seminal Sugarhill Gang. He is known for his solo recordings,  and for his involvement in many On-U Sound projects (Tackhead etc.).

Christian Lechevretel is a regular collaborator of Hector Zazou, plays brass with pop band Niagara, and works with his own band le Train Fantôme.

French synthesizer duo Lightwave have released an album on the German New Age label Erdenklang, and have been collaborating with ex-Tangerine Dream member Paul Haslinger.

Engineer and producer Gilles Martin has worked with Bel Canto, Tuxedomoon, Isabelle Antena,  as well as on many Hector Zazou projects (including Zazou Bikaye and “Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses”).

Ketema Mekonn is a vocalist with the Asmari musicians who came to France from Ethiopia on the occasion of the celebrations surrounding the 100th anniversary of Rimbaud’s death.

Renault Pion plays assorted woodwinds and works regularly with Hector Zazou (when not on tour with ex-Virgin Prune Gavin Friday or with the marvelous Yma Sumac).

Followed by aficionados since the days of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, admired for his solo albums, Ryuichi Sakamoto is now widely known also for his original scores for films such as “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence [Furyo]”, “The Last Emperor”, “The Sheltering Sky” or Pedro Almodovar’s “High Heels”.

A well-travelled percussionist and composer of Cherokee/French ascent, Steve Shehan owns 500 percussion instruments,  plays with the widest variety of people, and has a record out entitled “Arrows”.

UK house pioneer Tim Simenon is also known as Bomb The Bass. He’s mostly working on his own music (“Beat Dis”, “Winter in July”), and this is one of the rare examples of collaborations on other people’s projects

Malka Spigel was also a member of Minimal Compact, with which she sang and played the bass. She’s currently working on new  material with husband Colin Newman.

Gifted harpist and vocalist Elisabeth Valetti is part of the new Ambient Music movement in France (as documented by the Nunc Music compilation which also featured a.o. Zazou, François-Elie Roulin & Lightwave).


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HECTOR ZAZOU - Sahara Blue
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Noir et Blanc