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Transnational Dance Master : Cheb I Sabbah (R.I.P.) 1947 – 2013

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It’s taken me a few days to get around to this post. I think it was something I was dreading because you never really want to admit that it’s actually happened.  Cheb I Sabbah passed away last Wednesday after trying to battle stomach cancer for the past few years.

Our deepest condolences to Cheb I Sabbah’s family and loved ones from all the Generation Bass team.

Sadly, I never met Cheb I Sabbah but I did speak to him on several ocassions back in 2007 when I was working on a compilation about Moroccan music. We stayed in touch following those conversations, it wasn’t regular but he’d drop me a mail every now and then or comment on one of my mixes and it was always nice to hear from him. It was always inspiring to receive compliments from him as I considered him one of the first generation of masters experimenting with Transnational Dance beats and he paved the way for people like me and others.

The last time I had any contact with him was few months back just before he opened for Pete Murphy (Bauhaus) when I asked him to send my love to Pete and he kindly said he would.  I wish I had invested a bit more time in speaking to him and I wish I had made the effort to go to the USA to see him and jam with him.

I remember buying his album “Shri Durga” when it first came out on Six Degrees Records and being enthralled by it. It was something of the like I’d never heard before and it really excited me.  That and other stuff around at the time was a new beginning for me in terms of Transnational Dance music.

Cheb I Sabbah came across to me as a humble and beautiful dude. I’m saddened by the fact that true innovators like him did not really recieve the amount of recognition that he so thoroughly deserved.  He lived for music, he did it from his heart, with a purity.  He did music without thinking of monetary gain or fame. He was an innovator!

Maybe, the mags, blogs and people (including me) involved in the industry didn’t spend enough time to talk about him whilst he was still alive. You take things/people for granted and then they’re gone.

I’m sure he’ll be getting all the recognition due to him on the other side, where it matters most!

Miss you brother and we’ll definitely jam on the others side, sorry we couldn’t make it happen on this side!

The following statement was posted on his website.

We have lost a Master.

Cheb I Sabbah       1947 – 2013

Dear friends, family, fans and fellow beat followers;

It is with a heavy heart that we, Cheb i Sabbah’s family, announce his peaceful passing yesterday morning in his home in San Francisco.

He was surrounded by his life partner of over 18 years and is memorialized by his two children and three grand children.

We ask that we be allowed the time to grieve and mourn our loss and will be announcing any memorial services in the near future…..

When dusk falls this evening, and the stars begin to swirl, our father is spinning for all the great ones who passed before him and were awaiting his arrival –

BOM SHANKAR!

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