CHEB i SABBAH BIO
Cheb i Sabbah was born in Algeria of Berber (Amazigh) descent and moved to Paris as a teenager and became a DJ by chance. By the late 1980s, residing in San Francisco, he was internationally pushing boundaries on the dance floor, seeking ways to infuse Asian, Arabic and African sounds into the mix. Then as the “world music” movement unfolded, Cheb i Sabbah took the inspired step of recording traditional and classical musicians from India, Pakistan and Africa, effectively transforming those compositions into sonic landscapes, thus creating a new style of electronic music “composed” by a DJ.
With seven landmark recordings on the Six Degrees Records label, Sabbah remains a DJ at heart, but he is also something more.
“As a DJ you have ears,” says Sabbah, “this is my instrument, you know what you want to hear on the dance floor or in producing music.”
An innovator in one of the most contemporary musical realms, he is clearly committed to creating new forms.
“But at the same time,” says Sabbah, “the most important focus for me is to keep the musical tradition alive. For example, folk, trance and healing musicians are struggling to make a living and teach the young generations. Once those musicians go, it's over, then what?”
As an “Outernational” DJ to defender of ancient traditions, Sabbah is a true musical iconoclast and visionary in the electronica scene.
From the crowded confines of nightclubs to major festivals, Cheb i Sabbah enjoys a worldwide reputation as a magician of the dance floor. On stage he often spins accompanied by live musicians, dancers and massive projected visuals, interwoven and juxtaposed as the spirit moves him.