Somewhere in rock'n'roll heaven, the Clash's Joe Strummer is diggin' Rachid Taha's ferocious cover of "Rock the Casbah" (titled "Rock el Casbah").

Somewhere in rock'n'roll heaven, the Clash's Joe Strummer is diggin' Rachid Taha's ferocious cover of "Rock the Casbah" (titled "Rock el Casbah"). French-Algerian rocker Taha has said that he takes Western music and reads it "right to left," and it has worked surprisingly well for him. His "Tékitoi" rocks as hard as any disc out there—albeit with a pronounced North African vibe. Liberal use of the oud (Arabic lute), mandolute (guitar and oud), bendir (hand drum) and darbuka (hourglass drum) add elements of percussion and exotic melodicism to his sound that are absent from most Western rock. On "Safi," Taha takes that distinctive feel a step farther, backing a rock number with a full Egyptian orchestra. "Tékitoi" is nothing but great, from the provocative opening duet with Christian Olivier (the title track) through the final bonus cut, "Voila Voila." Distributed in the United States by Caroline.—PVV