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Published on Nov 4, 2008
Cheb i Sabbah (formerly known as DJ Cheb i Sabbah), born Haim Sérge El Baaz in Constantine, Algeria, is a club DJ. He is a Jew of Berber (Amazigh) descent. He moved to Paris in the 1960s, and, more or less by accident, became a club DJ. His complex cultural background may have prompted him to mix musical styles. By the late 1980s, he was pushing boundaries on the dance floor, seeking ways to work African, Asian, and Arabic music into the mix; using instruments such as the doumbek, sarangi, harmonium, oud, violin, and mrindangam. Then, as the world fusion music movement unfolded, Cheb i Sabbah began recording traditional and classical musicians himself and used those tracks to create his own works. Sabbah's music has been remixed by Karsh Kale, Transglobal Underground, Loop Guru, Junkie XL, and Bassnectar.