top of page

Houria Aïchi & L'Hijâz'Car - Riders of the Aurès

« Aimez les chevaux, soignez –les, 
Par eux l’honneur et par eux la beauté. » 
(proverbe des Ouled Naîl)

Houria Aïchi is already known amongst French music lovers who have been following her since she began on stage with her repertoire « Singing of Aurès ». She is a Chaouïa singer from the Aurès, a mountainous region in the eastern part of Algeria that is loaded with History. Aïchi quickly proved her desire to transform traditional forms whilst remaining faithful to the deep roots of her culture.

Grégory Dargent, young oud player and talented composer, contributes to the project with a sensitive treatment of sound archives, the dynamics of rock, jazz, Mediterranean sounds … just so many styles that were concocted by the young musicians of the Hijâz' Car. Alongside these artists, Houria Aïchi celebrates the universality of the rules of chivalry, courage, love, advocated by these cavalier princes, the Rayan el khil which marked her childhood. She makes us discover the poetry in the songs of her heritage thanks to the acoustic world sculpted in all their glory by Grégory Dargent.

This  album was granted as Coup de Coeur de l'Academie Charles Cros and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

« The singer Houria Aïchi remembers these exhilarating melodies, sustained by the heady sound of the gasba flute and the intrepid percussions that animated the reveries of her childhood. Martina A. Catella helped her in this resurrection work. His brilliant idea was to appeal to the gifted Strasbourg musicians of Hijâz'Car. The copy only interests the forgers and Gregory Dargent and his cunning companions soon realized that the essence of this music could only re-emerge by debriding their own imagination around a vision and just emotions. The arrangements that surround these sublime songs borrow as much from the original chaouïa universe as from the sounds and moods of our time when it refuses blindness and cleavage. The immense Kabyle singer could then take a spectacular momentum and, singing better than ever, drag us into his stunning groove. »


Houria Aïchi-singer: the dream of the little girl chaouie "(...) Between joyous songs that illuminates a fleeting smile and lamentations of poignant sadness, Houria Aïchi knows how to maintain with a diffuse grace the tension of a poem with frenzied moments. Overheating the room that runs in front of youyous requests. And then at the end of a piece, she bursts into sob, consumed by emotion and we with it. Houria Aïchi is there in this windy and sunny mid-July in Arles. "

El Watan 

Houria Aïchi : chant
Nicolas Beck : hajouj, tarhu
Grégory Dargent : oud, banjo, direction
Antony Gatta : percussions
Etienne Gruel : percussions
Jean-Louis Marchand : clarinet, percussions

An album by Accords Croisés / Harmonia Mundi

bottom of page