2190 kms south of Algiers sits Tazrouk, a few-hundred people remote village, home for several Touareg traditional musicians. While for long known as a festive community, the mood has been rather low over the past decade.
Why this rising bitterness? Exploitation. Having participated at tens of state-funded music festivals, elderly artists have lost all hope to receive their pay cheques.
Today, they refuse to showcase their own music to Algeria and the world. Their younger talent is embracing modern guitar styles and turning its back to traditional instruments. Once a symbol of pride and uniqueness, Touareg ancestral music in Algeria is increasingly linked with gloom and despair. Locals relate their grievances to the ill-management and extended corruption in Algeria.
El Foukr R'Assembly was born in 2014 around the artistic vision of four Algerian musicians and one documentary-maker towards sub-Saharan Africa. A taxi-driver & a farmer, a builder, a graphic designer and a sound engineer, Oualid Khelifi as the producer and filmmaker had met them at various parts of Algeria before suggesting a long term project around short film and music linking the Maghreb with the rest of Africa.
During the pilot phase of the project in 2014, El Foukr R' Assembly produced a 6 tracks album featuring Oriental, Sufi, Rai, Electro, Tuareg and African medley genres. Get in touch if you would like to listen to the album.
In early 2015, the second chapter of the project was launched. Following a successful online crowdfunding campaign, El Foukr R'Assembly travelled to Ghana in February/March 2015 to shoot its 2nd short film and record its 2nd fusion album. Currently, they are both in post-production.