Cheb i Sabbah was born in Algeria and moved to France in the ’60s. He is one of the earliest practitioners of the art of deejaying and began spinning in Paris in 1964 where he first saw and met The Living Theatre, whose influence resonates in the drama and epic abandon of Shri Durga. It is hard to separate the myth from reality about Cheb i Sabbah’s life in the ’70s. He maintains a stoic silence about it. He makes no comments about his engagement by John and Yoko in the U.K. and the macrobiotic connection therein. Freaky performance art in body bags? Chebiji makes no elaboration. Although, we do know that he joined The Living Theatre in 1971 and later on, with Suzanne Thomas, started a theater troupe in San Francisco named Tribal Warning Theatre. In the late ’80s and through the ’90s dj Cheb i Sabbah was an icon of the DJ circuit in San Francisco and was involved in a breathtaking variety of musical collaborations and performances including Qawwali maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and jazz trumpeter Don Cherry. He produced an album called The Majoon Traveller, using DJ-cut-up techniques and making fast connections with Brion Gysin, Ira Cohen, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and Moroccan Jilala and Gnawa trance music for the Sub Rosa label. Since then, he has remixed Psychic TV, Paul Horn and Don Cherry. His diverse influences and spiritual curiosity resulted in Shri Durga, his debut album and a mind-bending, panaromic Hindu-goth piÃ¨Â£Â¥ de rÃ©Â³Â©stance.
“Music is the only thing I know. It has the power to liberate one from whatever one wants to be liberated from.” – dj Cheb i Sabbah