Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, FRA

Temenik Electric is an artist who likes to experiment exuberantly with Mediterranean cultures and music. He dips the many musical styles of the Maghreb into the hot cauldron of rock, pop and electronic sounds.Their explosive potion has a flavour of oriental transe music with added blues, groove and diabolical machines.



From the vibrant multi-cultural melting pot of Marseille comes Temenik Electric, a flamboyant Arabic rock outing that straddles both sides of the Mediterranean. Temenik Electric, 5 musicians led by singer and main songwriter Mehdi Haddjeri, make a sound that is quintessentially rooted in the spirit of North Africa but which has taken the tropes of Western rock music and dynamically absorbed them into the ongoing lineage of Arabic musical culture. They released their debut album 'Ouesh Hada' in 2013.


The blackbearded songwriter Mehdi Haddjeri of TEMENIK ELECTRIC admits shamelessly: "I know Ben Harper and U2 more than Cheikha Rimitti and Khaled." For him, that is how History was written: "first there was rock because of how revolutionary it was, then there was funk because here it just simply makes sense, and finally poprock: because let's face it, 3 chords are much easier to play!"

Is Mehdi being serious when he's affirming that he plays poprock because it's easy? Well, who knows...? Mehdi is always full of surprises!

What is certain is that Mehdi's own journey round the varied music of the Maghreb would not have started without the help of Nuits Metis who awarded him a residency in Beni-Abbs (Algeria) in 2010.

"When Jerome and I started our journey to meet Algerian musicians, Jerome with his bass guitar and me with my guitar, I hardly knew anything about North African Music" remembers Mehdi. "With my very first rock band, we used to play Sibi H'bibi. At the time, I thought it was one of the Mano*'s pieces (*la Mano Negra)" he admits with a smile. He has now reconnected with this type of music that he used to hear as a little boy but to which he never used to pay attention.

"The residency was intense. We had such amazing fun that when we came back here, we wanted to continue the adventure by exploring the rock feel of the 'thing!" The 'thing'! That's a good way of describing it! How exactly can one define this mix? What is it exactly? Arabian-rock ? A cocktail of rock from the bled + rock from the city + rock from the country? Or is it today's rock with lyrics in Arabic? Here at this stage let's just stick with 'the thing' before we take a trip back into the past.


Desire became reality when Djamel Taouacht (drummer) and Hassan Tighidet (guitarist) joined TEMENIK ELECTRIC. The band took its first step into the world of music when it first cried out across the Mediterranean sea. Silted in the Algerian desert, their rhythms ooze rock from every pore. Moving around from the muggy atmosphere of one Western city to another, guitar riffs alternate with Mehdi's lyrics which are sung in Arabic. "It just happened spontaneously, naturally, without thinking about it admits Mehdi, before adding because these sounds are our sounds! We have one foot on both sides of the Mediterranean sea. We are children of the rock and pop era but we are also children of the chabi and the oriental music world."

TEMENIK ELECTRIC toured for two years in that way and they even recorded a few songs until Matthieu arrived. Matthieu is the techie guy in the band. With his arrival, The thing then evolved into something different again, due to the addition of sampling into the music. "Matthieu modernised our sounds" declares Mehdi, "by injecting it with elements taken from traditional music from North Africa. It's surprising, isn't it?".


TEMENIK ELECTRIC recorded a dozen or so pieces at Nomad Studio. Mixed at 'the Fabrique' (alongside people like Arthur H, Ttes Raides, Rokia Traor, Nick Cave), the songs were combined to make their first album Ouesh Hada (What is it?) which was released in Spring 2013.


Ness Jirenin (The Starved Ones)

Written By: Mehdi Haddjeri

Ness Jirenin (The Starved Ones) was written several months before the uprising in Tunisia. I talk about young people who don't have anything left to dream about, these desperate young people who have no other choice, but to refuse the world that is being handed to them on a plate of thorns. It's a clear wake-up call.

Hel el Bab (Open the Door)

Written By: Mehdi Haddjeri

Hel el Bab (Open the Door) is about the destiny of two women, Rosa Park the Afro-American seamstress who refused to give up her bus seat for a white passenger, thus becoming the mother of the Civil Rights Movement in the States - and a young woman from Oran who at the exact same time was being exploited by the foreign settlers.

Hanik (Your Eyes)

Written By: Mehdi Haddjeri

Hanik (Your Eyes) is about impossible love stories. Today, Romeo and Juliet are Jews and Arabs, black and white. Their stories start badly when there is no reason why it should be that way. For me it's unbearable yet it is still very much a reality for far too many people..!


2011 - Temenik Electric (EP)

2012 - Hainik (EP) to download http://1d-paca.com/fr/album/hainik

2013 - Ouesh Hada? http://www.deezer.com/album/6536700

FALL 2015 >> NEW RELEASE - Inchallah baby  
mixed at Real World Studio // Bristol (UK)
producer: Justin Adams
label: Nomad' Cafe

Set List

1. Li Fet
2. Hel El Bab
3. Hainik

4. Ness Jerenin
5. Mousseferin
6. Fain Kount
7. Deouni
8. Ouesh Hada