New Moon

Abdelli, 1995

The poetic and passionate music of a man who brings his ancient culture into the twentieth century, in collaboration with musicians from South America and the Ukraine.

Abdelli is a Berber of the Kabyle people, indigenous North Africans who have inhabited the region since pre-Arab times. His instrument is the mandole, an Algerian instrument that is similar to the Portuguese guitar. Abdelli deftly blends traditional Berber music with Arab music of the urban environment.

His musical ensemble includes Moroccans, a percussionist on darbukka and bendir, violinist, and a Tunisian ney (flute) player. He currently lives in exile in Belgium, and has won continental acclaim for his performances and collaborations throughout Europe and for his recordings with the Real World label.


  • .. Abdelli pays homage to the wailing call-to-prayer heard from minarets of every Muslim city around the world, but what makes this album unique is the recruitment of musicians from Chile and the Ukraine... March/April 1996 Option (USA)
  • ..Abdelli puts forward a strikingly unique world music merger... Abdelli's vocals are calmly substantial and subtly ornamental, passionate without ever resorting to histrionics. April 1996 Jazztimes (USA)
  • .. an album of contemporary sounding music that always delivers a decidedly Berber feel... ...yet is more accessible than many other recordings of Berber and North African ... Dirty Linen (1996) (UK)
  • It is remarkable how the South American instruments and percussion seamlessly blend with the Kabyl rhythms and melodies. Folk Roots (1995) (UK)
  • Abdelli is a remarkable singer, whose vision goes way beyond the popular local raï and classic Arab songs. . . A world class album. 25 May 1996 Music & Media (UK)
  • ...its classical beauty is breathtaking. 1 August 1995 Blues & Soul (UK)
  • ..the heady mixture of cultures...collide to brilliant effect... 7 July 1995 Irish Times (UK)
  • Exiled Berber mandola-player Abdelli has created a weave as richly folkloric as the carpets for which his tribe is famous. August 1995 The Mix (UK)
  • Abdelli’s soulful voice is extraordinarily haunting... ...and his mandola work is second to none. Guitar Technique (1995) (UK)
  • New Moon is a lustrous creation... ...full of promise and strength. Rhythm Music (1996) (USA)
  • ..a seductive combination of yearning vocals, hypnotic drones and body-tugging rhythms. Hot Press (1995) (Ireland)
  • of the most compelling Real World releases to date. July 1995 On (UK)