Copped in a thrift store in Austin, TX, this cassette release by Assirem (translated from Corsican as We Assert) defines elusiveness. Google turns up no results, and Translate reveals that nearly every song title is in a different language from the next. Although made in Algeria, it is believed to be a French release from the early to mid 1980s, by the Edition Ithren label.  Due to it’s unknown origins, one could best describe the contents as psychedelic world music featuring knotty guitar licks, tight instrumentation, and memorable melodies. Inside is a handwritten inscription that translates from Danish as Iod’s gift from Vrads (87); trying to figure out this multilingual cassette’s origins is an exercise in futility. Therefore the music will have to speak for itself. Fidelity be damned. words / zb

Assirem :: Cassette / Side A
Assirem :: Cassette / Side B

Note: Side A starts off quiet and slow…give it a minute to kick into gear.

4 Responses to “Assirem :: Edition Ithren Cassette”

  1. this site never ceases to amaze!

  2. Pretty sure it’s Kabyle music, a kind of Algerian Berber folk-hybrid music. There was a large diaspora population living in France from the 1920s on. The music became more explicitly political as Algeria struggled for independence in the 1960s, and the translation of “Assirem” should read “Hope”, not “we assert”.

  3. Thanks for the clarification!

  4. Very satisfying hybrid of cultural music, thank you so much AD.

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