'Mustapha' is a Middle East folk tune made famous by Bob Azam in the '60s, in an eastern fox trot version. A.P.C. asked musicians from extremely different worlds to give their interpretation of this tune. This CD contains psychedelic surf, samples, hypnotic Indian music, Eastern romanticism and many other styles.

  1/  Mustapha - Jonathan Richman                (Traditional)                 3.01
  2/  Mustapha - Pascal Comelade                 (Traditional,Comelade)        2.32
  3/  Mustapha - Solo                            (Solo)                        3.55
  4/  Mustapha - Nicky Skopelitis/Bill Laswell   (Traditional,Skopelitis)      11.33
  5/  Mustapha - Jean Touitou                    (Traditional,Touitou)         3.20
  6/  Mustapha - Gregoire Garrigues              (Traditional,Garrigues)       2.33
  7/  Mustapha - Rachid Taha                     (Traditional)                 3.11
  8/  Mustapha Dub - Jean Touitou                (Traditional,Touitou)         4.20
  9/  Mustapha Instrumental - Jonathan Richman   (Traditional)                 3.02

  10/ Tunis Central - Solo                       (Solo)                        3.05
  11/ Nap In D - Solo                            (Solo)                        2.58

          Each track produced and arranged by it's performer, except as noted
          Tracks 1 and 9 produced by Brennan Totten
Tracks 1,7 and 9 arranged by B. Azzam and E. Barclay

          1994 - A.P.C. (France), A.P.C. 002 (CD)


'Mustapha' is a traditionnal oriental melody. In France, in the sixties, 'Mustapha' has been a hit, thanks to an adaptation by singer Bob Azam (that also add lyrics, with help from producer Eddie Barclay). The result is a mellow pop song that could be easely mixed in a 'easy-listening' party. If you speak french, you will be probably surprised by the deep intensity of the lyrics : stupid, silly, but fun. So, I have difficulties to imagine that 'Think about Mustapha' is a vibrant and serious tribute to Bob Azam ...

Anyway, here they are : different interpretations of the same melody by different musicians. For french artists, Mustapha is a good joke, so they play this song with a lot of fun, irony and humour. That is the reason why Skopelitis (the only non french interpreter) adaptation sounds so serious and deep, in comparison with the other tracks featured in the album. Versions on this second release of the APC catalog are very free from the original and you will probably find what you want :

- two silly rock N roll (described in the APC website as psychedelic surf!) or punk rock interpretions by Greg Garrigues and Jean Touitou himself.
- two versions close to the original single (but less kitsh, perhaps) by Jonathan Richman and french pop-rai star Rachid Taha.
- a semi acoustic minimalist performance (very hard to describe, in fact) by Pascal Comelade.
- a slow dark dub track by Solo (with two bonus beats at the end of the CD). Perhaps the most hard to recognize version and the weakest track of this compilation.
- at last, the best (of course), a beautiful, 10 minutes long version by Skopelitis and Laswell (with others musicians that are not listed in the CD sleeve). This is the most serious interpretation of Mustapha, more close to the traditionnal melody than to the sixties hit. It is fascinating to hear what BL and NS can do with just a nice pop song : a beautiful, ambient jewel, certainly the best moment of this CD. I think that the track has been recorded during the 'Hallucination engine' sessions because it could easily be included in the Axiom album. At all events, it has the same intensity than the Material or Skopelitis 'Ekstasis' album.

To conclude, I would say that 'Think about Mustapha' is a strange and heterogeneous compilation. Get this CD if you want to have fun and smile. Get it also if you are a Laswell fan.

Alain Haas