Almost five years after I first met Karim "Gafla" Chaya in his Headquarters in Menilmontant, he spoke to me about his music, and about his group "El Gafla" - "The Caravan".
Since then, the caravan has travelled many roads, but also has encountered many listeners. The group has evolved while preserving the sounds that first interested them. These are the sounds of Karim's native Mahgreb, the traditional music of Algeria and of the Gnawa of Morocco, funky guitar lines and - of course - rock accents. In sum, a blending of the sounds of Menilmontant, the Parisian neighbourhood that is still cosmopolitan - in the best sense of this word - where encounters and exchanges of the people of many nationalities take place.
For five years Karim and his merry band have sung their songs...for five years stories of immigrants, of improbable loves, and of denunciations. Five years of fighting to have an album by this, one of the most exciting groups on the Parisian scene.
The "pA/Ris-casbah" (Demain La Ville) is the reproduction - not so easy to realise - of the excitement that Karim brings to the music scene. His first recording that reflects the maturation that resulted from many concerts given by the Caravan throughout Europe.
If El Gafla has evolved in these past few years, society, unhappily, has not. If anything, things are worse. I remember the stories of Algerian immigrants told to us by Karim, alone with his guitar in the heart of Babylon... "Screw this world, it's not worth your life". "Screw misery" has never been more been more appropriate than at this time when the laws against immigrants without papers are even harder, and when Fortress Europe builds its fortifications a little higher. It's the same for the oppressed people of the world - be they Algerian, Sudanese, Tunisian, French or American... And yes, those who have disappeared for political reasons are still absent.
In the same way, this musical team, in collaboration with its composer, has created an offering of "Clandestino" in a mixture of languages and musical styles.
The dogs keep on howling.. Gafla perseveres and refines its music and its lyrics.
Marcel Du-Prê - EP
Demain La Veille - Album
buy it at iTunes
Salm à toi
RadioChango Añejo Reserva 7 Años
- Double Compilation
buy it at RadioChango
11.05.2009: Radiobabel fait le printemps de Ménilmontant. (Français)
03.09.2008: Recopilatorio RadioChango Añejo Reserva 7 Años (Castellano)
03.09.2008: Recopilatori RadioChango Añejo Reserva 7 Años (Català)
15.03.2007: Clandestin, remix du Matanzas... (Français)
18.05.2006: pA/Ris-Casbah ! L'ALBUM DE GAFLA (Français)
14.01.2005: GAGNER 10 entrées pour El GAFLA!!! (Français)
06.01.2005: EL GAFLA: ENREGISTREMENT LIVE DU 1er ALBUM (Français)
The Forum for El Gafla
Interview avec Karim - 03/2004 (Français)
Interview avec Karim - 04/2003 (Français)
01.2012: Video Clip El Gafla - Je m'en fous
Contact & Management
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Tél : +33 (0)4 57 93 07 07
Fax :+33 (0)4 69 96 35 00
Bruno VINCENT– technicien son
Tel : 06 50 79 31 36