I was told by the owner of the Arab grocery where I used to buy a lot of music that after the Gulf War (1991), there was an increased interest in Iraqi music, among Arabs in general (many of whom ordinarily would hardly be listening to any of it). I get the distinct impression that more CDs of Iraqi music are showing up for sale online these days.
― Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 15 July 2003 23:20 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 00:10 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 00:18 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 00:26 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 15:48 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 15:50 (9 years ago) Permalink
― H (Heruy), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 15:53 (9 years ago) Permalink
I found some things I really liked: Nagat, from Egypt; a great song by Saad Abd el Wahab (who is apparently the brother of Mohammed Abd el Wahab); and songs under the "Aghany Ramadan" section which I believe means Ramadan songs...
― arch Ibog (arch Ibog), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 18:22 (9 years ago) Permalink
arch Ibog, I think mazika.com actually is legitimate, but most of those artists don't interest me much. (Haven't looked recently.)
Nagat has some okay songs. I find the ones I've heard drag a little bit at times though.
I've heard some songs sung by Abdel Wahab that I've really liked, but I've also heard some where his singing wasn't so hot. I've heard contradictory things about his singing, some people saying that after a certain point early in his career his voice was no good; some people saying that his voice came and went; and other people saying that his voice was fine, and what are you talking about?
H, I don't know who that question is directed toward. The stuff I mean is at the top of this page: New releases.
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 18:58 (9 years ago) Permalink
― H (Heruy), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:02 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:13 (9 years ago) Permalink
― amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:18 (9 years ago) Permalink
― amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:19 (9 years ago) Permalink
There's also a sometimes campy pop singer from the 70's (I assume) named Ramesh who I kind of like.
I may have one or two names to add when I'm at home, but that's it.
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:36 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 19 July 2003 19:54 (9 years ago) Permalink
Can you suggest a different source (in Engl.?)? Or d'you know what kind of a compilation said disc is, as per period and material?(THANX!)
― t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Saturday, 19 July 2003 20:07 (9 years ago) Permalink
I am not familiar with that collection, and can't find anything about it so far. I'm guessing it will be fairly early material, which I find hard to get into, if it's many pieces on one CD (although some of the film songs are fairly short and cover a period that interests me more than the pre-40's stuff).
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 19 July 2003 20:17 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 19 July 2003 20:25 (9 years ago) Permalink
― t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Saturday, 19 July 2003 20:29 (9 years ago) Permalink
SAHRAN LEWAHDE, from about the same year, is also quite good, but I think it's a little more challenging.
A lot of western listeners seem to enjoy the late recording AL ATLAL, which is also very popular with Arabs.
I personally prefer HAZIHI LAYLATY to that, as long as it's the live version. (Don't buy it unless you are sure it is.)
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 19 July 2003 20:32 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 18:22 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 18:24 (9 years ago) Permalink
The remix sounds really awful.
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 19:08 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 19:25 (9 years ago) Permalink
― H (Heruy), Saturday, 26 July 2003 20:51 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 21:02 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 21:04 (9 years ago) Permalink
― H (Heruy), Saturday, 26 July 2003 21:07 (9 years ago) Permalink
But anyway, I just like it in a very immediate way. The organ sounds so cool to me. I like the spaciousness of it. It's got a feel almost like dub, but with very different rhythms and so forth. I just love the sound of doumbeks, in general, too. On a really microscopic level, there's the sound of a person's voice--I think from the audience--during the introduction, and it seems to occur at a perfect place. Some of these organ/synth sounds could either be heard as incredibly corny or as very trippy (not that I really see a contradiction there). Also, some of the melodic lines seemed very familiar to me practically the first time I heard it, and that seemed a little mysterious.
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 22:34 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 22:41 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 11 December 2003 02:17 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 11 December 2003 02:21 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 11 December 2003 03:06 (9 years ago) Permalink
Nascente has a similar salsa compilation, but if anything there isn't enough junk on it. I mean, it's mostly very propper classic salsa. The newer examples seem to be from people who have some sort of agenda of maintaining the greatness of the past. I am sympathetic up to a point, but there is plenty of salsa aimed at mainstream commercial success (e.g., Grupo Niche or Gilberto Santa Rosa at their best) which is more vital than most of what I've heard from, say, Jimmy Bosch. Still, it's a good looking compilation.
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 11 December 2003 03:31 (9 years ago) Permalink
01 Farid El Atrache - Hebeena Hebeena
(Somewhat cheesy Farid, but popular, and I like it, but still, there is harder edged stuff that might have more appeal.)
02 Nagat - Sa'al Feya
(Don't know this song by name.)
03 Talal El Madaah - Maza Aqool Wa Qad Himt
04 Talal El Madaah - Maza Aqool Wa Qad Himt
05 Sabah - Ala Eyni Talabatak
(Don't know track by name. Sabah is pretty much old-school in style, but not as classically oriented as Oum Kalthoum.)
06 Ahmad Fat'hi - Shaqek El Ward
07 Oum Kalthoum - Ala Balad El Mahboub
08 Abdallah Balkheir - Leilah
09 Fairuz - Inshallah Ma Bu Shi
(Don't know this song. It will probably either be very good or very bad, though her voice will be fine either way.)
10 Majida El Roumi - Ana Am Bihlam
(I am not into her, though she is pretty well regarded, espcially in her home, Lebanon, I think.)
11 George Wassouf - Tabib Garah
(This is not a bad song from George Wassouf's relatively recent output.)
12 Samira Tawfic - - Ballaa Tsoubou Hal Kahwa
(Samira Tewfic has recorded some fantastic songs. I have no idea which one this is.)
13 Amr Diab - Rajeen
(With Kazem el Saher, probably one of the two biggest Arab pop singers. Zzzzz.)
14 Ilham Al Madfai - Khuttar
(An Iraqi who does an odd mix of Arab and western jazz/rock whatever. I haven't heard much by him.)
15 Nawal El Zoughbi - El Layali
16 Aamer Muneeb - Hikayatak Eih
17 Dania - Afrahou Gannouh
18 Assi Al Hilani - Ater Al Mahabah
19 Yuri Mrakidi - Takoulin
20 Elissa - Hilm Al Ahlam
21 Hisham Abbas - Habibi Dah (Nari Narien)
22 Howayda - Aghrab
23 George Al Rassy - Min Ghadr El Hob
24 The 1001 Nights Project Feat Dania [Lebanon] (Transglobal Underground Mix
25 Kareem Al Iraqi - Al Ghurbeh
26 Hasna - Gibran's Wisdom
27 Guy Manoukian - Yasmina
28 Mai & Waheed - Laish Laish Ya Jara
29 Oryx - Awakenings
30 Rida Al Abdallah - Baghdad
31 Yasser Habeeb - Elama
32 Fayez El Saeed - Baleini
33 Ilham Al Madfai - El Tufah (original mix)
34 Jawed Al Ali - El Shoug
35 The R.E.G. Project - Harem
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 11 December 2003 03:43 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 11 December 2003 17:03 (9 years ago) Permalink
― H (Heruy), Friday, 12 December 2003 08:57 (9 years ago) Permalink
No. I was running behind in the afternoon, and then I wanted to eat something before I went, and then it was raining and I walked all over trying to hail a cab, dodging completely homicidal drivers in the process. I got sick of it all and decided to go home. I wish I had planned it better though, because I could have made it. The more I thought of it though, the more I didn't like the idea of his being given a limited time slot. (There was another artist on the program, and these programs definitely end at a certain time, whereas when I've seen him before, he's had the time to stretch out. Well, not in Moroccan terms, but comparatively.) Still I should have gone, but I bet nobody went into a trance; nobody ever goes into a trance at Philadelphia shows, except the occasional performer from Baluchistan.
― Rockist Scientist, Friday, 12 December 2003 15:35 (9 years ago) Permalink
re trances: when he played toronto this past summer, the reports I got were that were going into full trances and actually passing out!
― H (Heruy), Saturday, 13 December 2003 12:49 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Saturday, 13 December 2003 20:03 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Thursday, 25 December 2003 01:48 (9 years ago) Permalink
Very interesting new instrumental album from Marcel Khalife. He's mixing jazz elements with Arab music, not an original idea I realize, but I like what he's doing here more than I like just about any other combination of Arab music with jazz that I've heard. I'm glad he is getting away from the big orchestral works which all sounded the same to me, and which I didn't like to begin with. The personnel includes his sons (I assume): Rami and Bachar Khalife, Peter Herbert (who typically plays with jazz musicians) on bass, and a cameo appearance by violinist Omar Guey (soloing). The first three or four tracks flow together quite nicely, but the fifth--what is this--this thing? I heard something very similar in a song on an older Khalife album. It's like an extended Chopinesque version of "Happy Birthday To You!" Unbelievably sacharine. I have no idea what he is trying to do here. Nothing else on the CD is like that one track, although I'm not crazy about his son Rami's piano playing in some cases. A little too influenced by Romantic era classical piano. (Both his sons are trained in European classical music.) Overall, I like it quite a bit. The use of vibraphones (played by Bachar) adds an unexpected color, which works extremely well with Arab rhythms. The second track has an odd disjunctive sort of rhythm that seems to borrow from free jazz. (It's not Arab, I'm sure, and it's not a straightahead jazz rhythm.) Also, the audio quality is very high. I hope this Khalife CD gets some press. (I hope the label is sending out review copies, and not just to "world music" magazines, but to other places where it might have a chance of being covered.)
― Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Wednesday, 31 December 2003 01:22 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Sunday, 29 February 2004 21:14 (9 years ago) Permalink
Jaz Coleman & Anne Dudley's Songs from the Victorious City.
I'm finally getting around to listening to this again (after not hearing it for a long time). I don't really understand why they import non-Arab rhythms into this. The rhythmic resources in Arabic music are very rich.
― Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Sunday, 23 May 2004 20:43 (8 years ago) Permalink
I'm amazed Natacha Atlas hasn't been mentioned in this thread. Highlights are Disapora, Gedida, and parts of Ayeshteni. Despite being largely Belgian/Moroccan/British, her artistic leanings are toward Egypt, and it really shows.
In the interest of variety, Mezdeke's a good example of Turkish rhythms, and exemplifies just how broad Arabic music can be. The CDs can be hard to pick up though; you'd do well to try your local Lebanese bakery.
Amr Diab? Meh. Doesn't do anything for me. Habibi's the obvious number [everyone's heard it at least once].
― You're the Wish You Are I Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Sunday, 23 May 2004 22:55 (8 years ago) Permalink
I don't like it (the Dudley/Coleman thing). It starts off okay, but a lot of what they do rhythmically on that recording is kind of weak compared to what is possible using Arab rhythms (to repeat myself). Also, they draw excessively on the biggest cliches of the big Egyptian string section sound. I like the way the album starts off, but by the time it hits the "It could just go on forever" segment, the best part of it is over.
Atlas is interesting in spots, but I'm not into her.
― Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Sunday, 23 May 2004 23:01 (8 years ago) Permalink
What did Coleman contribute? It just all sounds like Dudley's work to me.
― You're the Wish You Are I Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Sunday, 23 May 2004 23:04 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Sunday, 23 May 2004 23:05 (8 years ago) Permalink
RAHIM ALHAJ Iraqi Music in a Time of War (Voxlox)
Last February, mild-mannered Iraqi matinee idol Kazem al-Sahir played a sparsely populated Beacon. His 17-piece orchestra was exotically anodyne to me, painfully nostalgic to the attendant Iraqis. But either way it was steeped in denial. Recorded April 5 at Manhattan's Sufi Books, with Baghdad under attack, this solo oud recital is the opposite. The conservatory-trained AlHaj is a Saddam torture victim who escaped in 1991. Yet he is appalled by the destruction of his homeland. And yet again he betrays no rage: however uninspired as "concepts," the "compassion, love, and peace" he preaches are courageous as music. With little knowledge of oud or taste for classical guitar, I'm struck by how unexotic he seems—how his sound, melodicism, and note values bridge East and West while remaining Iraqi. I'm impressed by how modest virtuosity can be in a classical tradition that honors simplicity. And I'm drawn in by the historical context, which implicates me in that tradition. B PLUS
― Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 25 May 2004 18:53 (8 years ago) Permalink
The audio quality is poor, but it's good enough for me. I like the sound of the instrumentalists accompanying him. This music avoids some of the excesses of the old Egyptian popular music arrangments. I like the fact that there is practically always a guttering ney playing along the lines he is singing. (As I typed that, the ney and just about everything else dropped away to make room for a kanun solo. I like that too.)
― Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Thursday, 27 May 2004 23:00 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Monday, 7 June 2004 18:15 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 23 June 2004 19:04 (8 years ago) Permalink
Yousra Dhahbi: Rhapsody for Lute [Female oudist--and there aren't many around, or at least not many who make it onto a CD--from Tunisia.]Ensemble Al-Umayri: The Sawt of KuwaitEnsemble Muhammad Faris: The Sawt of BahrainVarious: Treasures of Algerian Music [2 CDs worth of older, archival, material.]
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 30 July 2004 23:45 (8 years ago) Permalink
Mohamed Ali Ensemble: Al Hawanem also looks good.
(These are listed on the new releases section at www.rashid.com.)
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 13:36 (8 years ago) Permalink
I think it's interesting that while falsetto is traditionally frowned upon in Egyptian, and I think Lebanese and Syrian music, it seems pretty common in music from the Gulf states. At the very least, I think I've heard a couple Kuwaiti stars sing in falsetto.
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 31 August 2004 23:44 (8 years ago) Permalink
It might not even be really good. There's some pretty cheesy stuff going on, but there's still something really great about it.
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 31 August 2004 23:57 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 21:24 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 7 October 2004 19:25 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 7 October 2004 19:27 (8 years ago) Permalink
― ken taylrr (ken taylrr), Thursday, 7 October 2004 19:30 (8 years ago) Permalink
At the very least, they seem to be more about a musique concrete/cut-up approach than simply a presentation of recordings of Arabic music (as though they are simply using Arabic music as raw material).
But then again, maybe I will like them. Maybe they really are making a statement about the aural world that exists in the Arab world. (Call to prayer, Qur'anic recitation, clash of everything else music?)
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 7 October 2004 19:38 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Saturday, 6 November 2004 15:18 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS, Saturday, 6 November 2004 16:50 (8 years ago) Permalink
The CD itself is a totally unprofessional piece of work, with two or three more songs than there are tracks (and I mean songs that are completely unrelated to what came before on the same track). Plus, sometimes there will be a pause after one song and then another one will begin, then the track will end, then that song will resume with the next track. It's made in Houston, TX.
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Friday, 11 February 2005 12:50 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Friday, 18 February 2005 12:48 (8 years ago) Permalink
― The Obligatory Sourpuss (Begs2Differ), Friday, 18 February 2005 14:57 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 24 February 2005 12:36 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 24 February 2005 12:37 (8 years ago) Permalink
― DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 24 February 2005 13:09 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 24 February 2005 13:20 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 31 March 2005 23:46 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 31 March 2005 23:48 (8 years ago) Permalink
Accompanied Nazem al-Gazali in Iraq. That's about as prestigious as you can get for that time and place.
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 31 March 2005 23:57 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Saturday, 2 April 2005 23:51 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 01:53 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 01:54 (8 years ago) Permalink
― m0stly clean (m0stly clean), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 03:07 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 11:18 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS, Thursday, 14 April 2005 02:21 (8 years ago) Permalink
"saturday, the Arabesk throwdown in Bruxelles. I´ll DJ with an eastward lean and do a brief collabo with Chronomad (who´ll play Persian percussion thru guitar amps over my beats). My Istanbul point man Serhat Köksal aka 2/5 BZ is gonna blast us with a live audio-visual set. No turistik - No egzotik! Turkish lo-fi punk sampler saz psychedelia never sounded/looked so good!"
― steve-k, Friday, 22 April 2005 13:43 (8 years ago) Permalink
― steve-k, Friday, 22 April 2005 13:46 (8 years ago) Permalink
― steve-k, Friday, 22 April 2005 20:15 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 10:50 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Friday, 29 April 2005 02:11 (8 years ago) Permalink
there are samples here. his album "ghoroob" ("dusk") is particularly amazing for the classic psychedelic instrumentation. his "dance mix" album has fantastic irangeles beats.
― vahid (vahid), Friday, 29 April 2005 03:14 (8 years ago) Permalink
bombastic = defining characteristic of persian music!
OTOH if some of it sounds saccharine, i'd venture that it's because of cultural distance. same way asian music might sound harsh to westernized ears.
― vahid (vahid), Friday, 29 April 2005 03:20 (8 years ago) Permalink
― vahid (vahid), Friday, 29 April 2005 03:21 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Friday, 29 April 2005 03:21 (8 years ago) Permalink
― steve-k, Friday, 29 April 2005 12:43 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Friday, 29 April 2005 12:45 (8 years ago) Permalink
On the other hand, I've been extremely happen with some of the trad. pop Syrian things I've been buying, and I really like that (mostly solo) kanun CD by Abrahama Salman, and I definitely am going to look into a couple recent Gulfen releases. (See above.)
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Monday, 2 May 2005 22:33 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Monday, 2 May 2005 22:38 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 12:40 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 12:41 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 12:46 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 12:52 (8 years ago) Permalink
― volly halance, Sunday, 8 May 2005 13:21 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Steve K (Steve K), Sunday, 8 May 2005 15:00 (8 years ago) Permalink
― RS (Catalino) LaRue (RSLaRue), Saturday, 11 June 2005 12:19 (7 years ago) Permalink
― RS (Catalino) LaRue (RSLaRue), Saturday, 11 June 2005 12:21 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Vornado, Saturday, 11 June 2005 14:31 (7 years ago) Permalink
Maybe it's just the harem scenes in racist movies, but seldom will you hear a regional compilation at once so distant and so familiar. The Sahara is bigger than Europe, and insofar as these often nomadic artists—very few of whom I'd heard before, with only the jet-setting Tinariwen and one other on Festival in the Desert—have home bases, most hail from lands thousands of miles apart, and further off the musical map than Mali: Mauritania, Niger, Libya, the Morocco-occupied "Western Sahara." Yet except for the closer, a long poem-sermon with rosewood flute by an Algerian Berber, they share lulling chants, many by women, and a steady pulse that seems neither African nor European but "Arab," which it isn't. Although often born of political conflict, they evoke eternal things—subsistence beyond nations, a post-nuclear future, world without end amen. A
I don't think there's a generic thread for Saharan or N. African music, so I'm noting this here. This isn't my favorite type of stuff (I've been pretty underwhelemed with Tinariwen), but I like much of what I'm hearing on the audio samples. I don't know what Christgau knows (something I'm increasingly loath to underestimate), and I'm certainly no expert, but I wonder if he's wrong to back away so quickly from saying that the pulse here is Arab. I think on some tracks it is. Tadzi-Out's "Chet Féwet" sounds really close to traditional music from Kuwait, to me anyway. Just because the music isn't Arab music, doesn't mean some aspects of it are derived from the Arabs.
― RS LaRue (RSLaRue), Friday, 1 July 2005 14:33 (7 years ago) Permalink
This has some good stuff on it, of a sort that I so far I've only previously had on cassette. 08 - Assel Abu Bakr - Aseebak is especially interesting, with lots of the typically really good, almost percussive, oud playing that typically shows up in this music, a female chorus that keeps doing this odd sort of dip (maybe this has been electronically modified somehow), and layers of percussion, and the inescapable violins.
― Yo soy Rockist Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 17 July 2005 12:40 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Yo soy Rockist Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 17 July 2005 12:42 (7 years ago) Permalink
July 27, 2005An Iraqi-American Helps to Keep Soulful Music From Baghdad AliveBy ROBIN SHULMAN
When Amir ElSaffar sang his sad, lamenting music at an Arab-American arts center in Lower Manhattan earlier this month, people closed their eyes and mouthed the words. When he stopped, they crowded around and said how he had moved them.
"I smell the Tigris," one woman at the Alwan for the Arts center said. Others said the music made them smell Iraqi fish, feel Iraqi heat and miss Iraqi family. While his songs took the audience of Iraqi-Americans back to a Baghdad that no longer exists, Mr. ElSaffar is fighting to help make sure that the music does.
The Iraqi maqam - maqam (pronounced ma-KAHM) is the name for a musical genre and also the specific pieces in it - has been played for centuries in Baghdad coffeehouses, homes and mosques. It consists of a repertory of melodies, performed by a singer with an instrumental ensemble, that can be used in improvisations according to specific rules.
But since the 1930's Egyptian and Lebanese radio and later television have weaned Iraqis from homegrown traditions. And during the last 60 years of frequent political turmoil and war, some of the greatest maqam masters, along with other artists, have fled the country. Since the American invasion in March 2003, the fear of violence has kept many remaining musicians from performing and teaching. Today, only one person alive is known to have mastered the full repertory of 56 maqam melodies, Yeheskel Kojaman, an Iraqi musicologist, said in a telephone interview from London. Unesco has identified the Iraqi maqam as an "intangible heritage of humanity" and plans to encourage performances and training.
So when Mr. ElSaffar, an Iraqi-American jazz and classical trumpeter who lives in New York, went to Baghdad in 2002 to learn his ancestral musical tradition, he had trouble finding a maestro who would take him on. For the last two and a half years he has been traveling in Europe, studying with exiled Iraqi masters. Back in New York since May, he has formed an ensemble to perform maqam music and has taught others to play it with him.
Mr. ElSaffar, 27, does not seem like a natural crusader for Iraqi culture. He was raised in Oak Park, Ill., by an American Christian mother, a professor of Spanish literature, and an Iraqi Shiite Muslim father, a physics professor. Mr. ElSaffar, who says he does not subscribe to any particular religion, learned only a smattering of Arabic and while growing up visited Iraq just once, with his father, in 1993.
But when he won a $10,000 prize for jazz trumpet in an international competition, he said, he decided to use the money to go to Iraq and learn its music. He added that only when he began to weep at the Baghdad airport did he realize he had been starved to connect with his father's country. In Mr. ElSaffar's first weeks in Baghdad in March 2002, as he listened to a maqam and heard the pain in the singer's voice, he felt something break open inside him, he said. "It sounded like crying to me," he said, a sobbing that became singing and drew him in. He said that he had also felt an intellectual fascination for the improvisation. He learned to play a maqam on his trumpet, and soon found a teacher of joza, a fiddle made from a coconut shell and the heart tissue of a water buffalo. The other instruments in a maqam ensemble are usually the santur, a kind of dulcimer; an Arabic tabla, a goblet-shaped drum; and a riqq, a tambourine.
By June 2002, when Mr. ElSaffar returned to New York to play trumpet with Cecil Taylor, maqam music was influencing his jazz performance and he said he knew he had become obsessed. That fall, he went back to Iraq to continue studying the maqam, and stayed until the end of the year.
He said that a man in Baghdad had said to him: "Why did you come here? Are you crazy? Why don't you just go to London? The only maqam singer left who knows the entire repertory is in London. Find him." He did. For the next three years he traveled through Europe pursuing three great musicians of the maqam tradition. He took the train with a suitcase packed with a dozen maqam books, some 50 tapes, perhaps 75 CD's.
To make money, he got out his trumpet for occasional jazz gigs, and also tapped an inheritance from his mother, who had died. In Munich he went to Baher al-Regeb, among the first to notate the Iraqi maqam, and the son of the maqam musician Hajj Hashem al-Regeb. In a small city in the Netherlands he studied with a maqam singer known by her first name, Farida. But in London he found his maestro in Hamid al-Saadi, the man said to be the only one to know the entire repertory.
The teaching of the maqam is an oral tradition passed from master to student. Systems for transliterating the music in Western musical notation are just as approximate as transliterating Arabic words in English letters. Mr. ElSaffar would record his lesson with Mr. al-Saadi and then rehearse for hours from the recording, singing and playing santur on his own.
Brilliant maqam composers last established new pieces in the repertory in the 1920's, Mr. ElSaffar said. At that time, Jews were the main instrumentalists for maqam music. When most Jews left Iraq in the early 1950's, the government forced two Jewish musicians to stay behind and train two Muslims in their art, Baher al-Ragab said in a telephone interview from Munich. He said his father was one of the Muslims.
In his own search for musical greats, Mr. ElSaffar contacted musicians in Tel Aviv only to find that the old generation of Iraqi performers had died and no new one had risen in their place.
Today, the mosque is the safest repository for maqam music in Iraq, and variations of it are part of the recitation of the Koran - by both Sunnis and Shiites - including the call to prayer, mourning rituals, and celebrations of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. But Mr. ElSaffar said he hoped that by performing, teaching and researching the maqam he can help the secular tradition of the music to thrive.
"Amir," his teacher, Mr. al-Saadi, said in a telephone interview, "is preserving the true essence of this music."
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 27 July 2005 14:04 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:40 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:42 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:44 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:49 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Vornado, Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:58 (7 years ago) Permalink
― xhuxk, Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:04 (7 years ago) Permalink
― xhuxk, Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:07 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:13 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:14 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:15 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:17 (7 years ago) Permalink
This oddly titled CD, Yatahadda Michael Jackson, also sounds promising (if full of familiar songs--and not by MJ, incidentally).
― Rockist_Scientist (hair by Joelle) (RSLaRue), Sunday, 21 August 2005 22:00 (7 years ago) Permalink
Lebanese-Egyptian singer Laure Dakkash died in Cairo; she was 88. She had a hit song in 1939, it was titled Aminti Bi-l-Lah. But the song continued to be played in Arab media. I used to do an imitation of the song because it was odd in lyrics and music. Let me sing it for you:Aminti bi-l-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahAminti bi-l-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaNur jamalik ayahaya mni-l-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahAminti bi-l-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 12 October 2005 23:30 (7 years ago) Permalink
Mohamed Iskandar needs no introduction; his long fruitful journey in his musical career made him one of the icons of Lebanese music.
We are proud to announce the release of his new album with 8 terrific brand new tracks of pure Lebanese Shaabi and folkloric music.
Iskandar Studied music and learned how to play Oud in the Conservatoire in 1984. Graduated from Layali Lebanon Program in 1988 and got the Golden Medallion for the Lebanese Shaabi Music category. Also in 1988 he released his all-time smash hit “Meen El Shaagel Balak” which was a great success and gave him huge exposure in the Middle East. (it is interesting to know that this song was written and composed by him)
During his long journey he released 15 albums with more than 140 songs and 20 video clips
the 8 tracks are great additions to the artist’s rich repertoire.. The first single is track no.3 La Tekser Bikhater Mara, which is expected to set the dance/Dabkah floors on fire. First track Hakeeni is a great opening with the outstanding Mawal in the beginning. Iskandar is famous with his perfect Mawwals as he starts most of his songs with one. Of course folkloric songs like Track 4 Ataba w Mejana and 5 Jammal are excellent Dabkah tracks which can be heard mostly in weddings.
This is a must-have album for all Lebanese Shaabi/folkloric music lovers, Dabkah lovers and Mohamed Iskandar fans which are a lot and the longevity in his musical career is a perfect proof.
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 1 November 2005 11:53 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Monday, 19 December 2005 16:26 (7 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon steve (DC Steve), Saturday, 24 December 2005 05:27 (7 years ago) Permalink
From Matt's blog on December 11th (he also posts songs):
"Last weekend I got a bunch of my friends to join in a trip up to Clichy-sous-Bois, a suburb northeast of Paris, to see a Moroccan gnawa concert by Hmida Boussou. As many of you already know, Clichy-sous-Bois was the original flashpoint for the recent riot troubles in France. The point of the trip was then two-fold: to check-out this place so badly portrayed in the media as a centre of racial hatred and burning cars, and to listen to some great live gnawa music from down in Essaouira.
As expected, Clichy-sous-Bois’ downtown turned out to be a quiet little French town much like any other Parisian suburb. That said, we weren’t in the middle of the cités but as one Clichy-sous-Bois resident put it, “this isn’t Chechnya.” It’s actually a nice little place that’s a pain in the ass to access using public transport at night. The Boussou concert was part of the ongoing Afrocolor festival in the suburbs of Paris. I’ve been busy with work, life and travel so I haven’t been able to check-out any of the other shows, but the programme is impressive and the festival is quite well-organized.
The Gnawa are a sufi Islamic brotherhood from southern Morocco (around Marrakesh and Essaouira) who use music, rhythm and dance to heal and entrance their followers. Gnawa music has become sort of trendy in Western culture this last while which is why I ask myself, isn’t track 5 on the Cowboy Bebop sountrack a gnawa song? Does anyone know anything about it? Song posted below.
Anyway, the Hmida Boussou concert was great. He’s a well-known Gnawa musician back home and if my armchair Google research is any indication he commands a far-reaching and good reputation. At the show everyone was rockin’ out to the rhythms and an entranced fan or two even hit a trance and dropped to their knees on stage. Definitely worth the RER. I picked-up his CD called Les Fils de Bambara on the way out - don’t think you can buy it in stores."
― curmudgeon steve (DC Steve), Saturday, 24 December 2005 05:31 (7 years ago) Permalink
Really? What little I heard didn't sound too Algerian, but I heard very little. I'm not too interested in her.
Gnawa is good live. Well, the only performer I've seen is Hassan Hakmoun. Too bad I missed him last time he was here. (I didn't plan my day well, and then at the last minute I was trying to hail a taxi in pouring rain, while dodging homicidal Philadelphia drivers. I got so fed up with the whole thing that I just went home.)
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 24 December 2005 14:13 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Monday, 9 January 2006 23:21 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Monday, 9 January 2006 23:30 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 15 January 2006 01:39 (7 years ago) Permalink
Oh, I heard something from that new Souad Massi album--I think it was the tribute to that Iraqi singer--and I liked it more than I'd expected. I'm still not very interested in her voice though.
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 15 January 2006 15:37 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 15 January 2006 15:42 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 15 January 2006 15:50 (7 years ago) Permalink
Syrian music star sings praise of suicide bombers
By Audrey HudsonTHE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Syrian singer of a band that was detained by the FBI's Terrorism Task Force for suspicious activity during a recent flight to Los Angeles has written about the "glorification" of suicide bombers to liberate Palestine.
Singer Nour Mehana's latest album includes the song "Um El Shaheed," or "Mother of a Martyr," said Aluma Dankowitz of the Middle East Media Research Institute. The song tells the story of a woman who mourned her son's death until she realized that "he died for a good cause and he should be glorified for what he did," said Miss Dankowitz, who translated the song for The Washington Times.
Mr. Mehana, widely known as the Syrian Wayne Newton, sings to the mother that her son's goals are heroic and she should be happy he is dead.
"The song opens with the depiction of a mother crying over her son. He has said goodbye to his friends and family and is not going to come back. He went with a weapon in one palm and his heart in another palm and he's not going to come back," Miss Dankowitz said. "He went to fight to free Palestine, Golan Heights and South Lebanon."
The song ends with chants of "Allahu akbar," or "God is great," a common Muslim expression. Those were the last words shouted by a September 11 hijacker before the plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field and have been the last words of many suicide bombers in Israel.
Mr. Mehana's 14 Syrian band members were detained by officials June 29 upon deplaning Northwest Flight 327 from Detroit to Los Angeles, for acting in a suspicious manner that concerned the flight crew and air marshals on board.
Meanwhile, federal officials were summoned to Capitol Hill yesterday to brief Senate and House Judiciary Committee staff in response to reports of the incident, and the Federal Air Marshals Association requested a meeting with top officials in the Homeland Security Department.
Passenger Annie Jacobsen reported earlier this month in Women's Wall Street that the Syrians consecutively filed in and out of restrooms, stood nearly the entire flight in congregations of two and three, carried a McDonald's bag into the lavatory and passed it to another Syrian, and carried cameras and cellular phones to the restroom.
Just before landing, seven of the men jumped up in unison and went inside the restrooms. Upon returning to his seat, one man mouthed the word "no" as he ran his finger across his throat.
The men were flying on a one-way ticket via Northwest, and returning on a one-way ticket aboard JetBlue.
An Immigration Customs Enforcement official said Monday the men had overstayed their visit and should have returned on June 10, but a Homeland Security Department spokesman said they learned late Tuesday that an extension had been granted through July 15.
Officials called to Capitol Hill included Randy Beardsworth, director of Homeland Security's Operations, Border and Transportation Security Office; Thomas Quinn, director of the Federal Air Marshals Service; and Willie Hulon, deputy assistant director of the FBI's counterterrorism division.
One staffer who attended the briefing said officials were "very cagey" on details, which he described as "very frustrating."
However, the officials confirmed air marshals found the activities unusual and suspicious.
"They are trying to have it both ways and say yes, our people are smart enough to see something and that's why they called for authorities, but they deny it was as scary as it has been portrayed," the staffer said.
Homeland Security officials say they have no intelligence that terrorists are conducting dry runs on airplanes.
Federal air marshals and pilots also back Mrs. Jacobsen's account as similar to other incidents, and say terrorists constantly are probing security.
The Federal Air Marshals Association yesterday requested a meeting with top Homeland Security officials to discuss the issue of terrorist dry runs.
"A test run for terrorism is not to be ignored," said Bob Flamm, director of the association. "When a citizen stands up and speaks out in regard to air safety, it is the responsibility of law-enforcement officials involved to seek out the truth and not bury it."--http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20040728-111758-3815r.htm
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 4 March 2006 14:56 (7 years ago) Permalink
Asmahan is so cool looking. (I'm googling Syrian music. Given her place in the Cairo music scene, I consider her to have been an Egyptian singer, regardless of having been born in Syria.)
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 4 March 2006 15:00 (7 years ago) Permalink
Serhat Koksal (2/5BZ) will two mounth ( august and september 06 ) artist residency in Berlin/Podewil for Tesla Sound & Video Art project .* http://www.tesla-berlin.de/_content.php?LanguageChooser=EN&aktion=SHOW_PAGE&Page_ID=184
* 2/5 BZ new 12 inch EP " MILITANT ORIENTAL / PEEL SESSION II " RELEASED in 15 th February 2006 from own' GOZEL RECORDS 002 ' label . SIDE A TRACKS BROADCASTED IN BBC RADIO 1 JOHN " PEEL SESSION " in DECEMBER 2004
* ''...and that track is from one of my favourites sessions of the recent past,from 2/5 BZ from Istanbul.No Touristik No Exotic it is called..'' John Peel BBC Radio1 2004 * '' Of all the music I heard in Turkey , I liked 2/5BZ best '' John Peel
* Hardwax ( Germany ) http://hardwax.com/label/gozel-records/ Gözel Records 002 Euro 12" @ EUR 9,00 2/5 BZ: Militant Oriental Peel Sessions II wild oriental flav. cut-up scapes of turkish movie scores, pop etc.
* Juno ( UK ) http://www.juno.co.uk/ppps/products/209148-01.htm 2/5 BZ Militant Oriental Peel Session 2 (12") Gozel Istanbul 23 Feb 06 £7.99 Militant Oriental (Peel Session 2) Karabesk (Peel Session 2) Okuz Istanbul (Peel Session 2) Petrol Stress (remake) Bbam (electro Saz Baglama) Saka Etmiyorum (Nurkish dub)
* Toolbox ( France ) http://www.toolboxrecords.com/catalog/Gozel+Records+02,p3554.html * Militant Oriental Peel Session II" * oriental psyche breakz » TOOLBOX2/5 BZ, Serhat Koksal' .. Something you'll just love and dig for years and years ! Probably the best record since beginning of 2006 ! ENJOY !!!http://www.toolboxrecords.com
* Dj Nexus ( Usa ) http://www.djnexus.com/view_record.cfm?record_id=449373 2/5 Bz Militant Oriental Peel Session (Part 2) Gozel Istanbul Leftfield $11.52 @
* 12inch RU ( RUSSIA ) 2/5 BZ 12" 530 руб. Доставка от 7 до 10 рабочих дней http://www.12inch.ru/catalogue.php?page=7&search=&filter=&InSt=
* * TOON'Z ( France ) http://www.toonzshop.com/cat.php?artiste=988 Une petite perle de serhat koskal and 2/5 bz.un disque que l'on garde precieusement ...
**** 2/5 BZ aka Serhat Koksal will play audiovisual performance ****
* in Audiovisiva 2006 Festival Milano /Italy in 25 th March http://www.audiovisiva.com * in Record Release Party in Peyote/ Istanbul in 6 th April. http://www.geocities.com/serhatkoksal/plakparti * in 103 Club / 'Save This Date' Twen Fm Festival in Berlin 20 th april . http://www.twenstream.de/joomlaa/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=57&Itemid=90 * in St Petersburg / Russia SKIF-10 Festival in 22th,24th April http://www.kuryokhin.ru/skif/artists_e.php?id_art=2 * in St Petersburg / Russia Ges-21 in 24 th April http://www.aktivist.ru/clubs/articles/a21279.asp 2/5 BZ February 2006 Performances & Released John 'Peel Session II' 12' EP from Gozel Records .
http://www.transmediale.de/page/detail/detail.0.persons.703.3.html http://www.juno.co.uk/ppps/products/209148-01.htm http://www.toolboxrecords.com/catalog/Gozel+Records+02,p3554.html http://www.djnexus.com/view_record.cfm?record_id=449373 http://www.12inch.ru/catalogue.php?page=7&search=&filter=&InSt= http://www.clubtransmediale.de/index.php?id=2275 http://www.sonicacts.com/item_detail.php?id=54 http://www.tesla-berlin.de/_content.php?LanguageChooser=EN&aktion=SHOW_PAGE&Page_ID=184 http://3headz.de/blog/index.php?title=docile_people_listen_to_docile_music&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1 http://www.hardwax.de http://www.transmediale.de/page/detail/detail.0.projects.492.3.html
* Serhat Köksal founded his 2/5 BZ project in Istanbul in 1986. As a constantly evolving multimedia project, the output is in disparate formats: tapes, video collages, CD-ROMs, audio CDs, photocopied zines and live performances. The performances of 2/5 BZ aka Serhat Köksal are exuberant cut-up montages of traditional music, experimental electronic sounds, TV and B-movie images, brought together in a dadaistic confrontation of pop, orientalism, kitsch, comic and folklore. Serhat Köksal performed 80 audiovisual concert on festivals, clubs, exhibitions in Europe, Asia, North America. Under the slogan "No Exotic, No Ethnic Market, No Touristik" he investigates culturalistic clices and their effects on the economical and political situation of individuals and 2/5 BZ have two times John 'Peel Session' in BBC Radio 1 and presenting on the subject of Turkish pop cinema and deconstruction, exotic tourism and anti-city myths, copy culture and remakes, critical sound art and audiovisual experimentation using found footage, field recordings and samples - in short: a critical and humorous re-use of mass culture. He lives and works in Istanbul.* http://www.geocities.com/serhatkoksal/nashusatour USA * http://www2.festival-gmbh.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=5057 LUDWIGSBURG * http://www.tesla-berlin.de/_content.php?aktion=SHOW_PAGE&Page_ID=117 BERLIN * http://www.popbuero.de/index.php?l=Veranstaltungskalender&detail_id=3466 STUTTGART * http://www.frieze.com/feature_single.asp?f=1115 ISTANBUL BIENALE / U.K. * http://www.reboot.fm/news/item?item%5fid=281789 BERLIN * http://borderphonics.samizdat.net/webradio/?p=79 NET / FRANCE * http://www.toolboxrecords.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=2847 FRANCE MAIL ORDER * http://www.add-on.at/cms/side10.html WIEN * http://orange.or.at/programs/radia/emission?emission_id=187885 WIEN * http://www.fulldozer.ru/news/102 MOSCOW * http://www.lodziana.pl/archiwum/roz01181.html WARSAW * http://www.mqw.at/programmdatenbank/index.php?tmp=q21-det&von=2005-08-28&TID=1453 * http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/tracklistings/peel_archive_shtml.shtml?20030506 PEEL SESSION http://www.2-5bz.com http://conkzine.2-5bz.com
― berbat zoksal, Wednesday, 24 May 2006 06:09 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 14:28 (6 years ago) Permalink
Asmahan, movie clip:
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 12:38 (5 years ago) Permalink
Some recommendations. (Also check your e-mail.) This is probably going to be overkill, but--
For things kind of related to the Syrian/Lebanese style George Wassouf typically used to perform in (when he wasn't doing covers of Egyptian classics):
Yousef Shamoun: Taneh Wu Raneh (2005). Syrian singer living in the US. He's technically a much better singer, and possibly better all around.
Lebanese singer, Mohammad Iskandar's Hakini, also from 2005, is pretty good too, although it's grown off me somewhat, maybe because of the constant festive shouting in just about all the songs. It has some nice driving electric guitar though, and great rhythms.
There's a crazy compilation (very choppily edited at times), Sahrat Ataba Mijana, from a US-based label, that has some good material on it. I think it's mostly Syrian and Lebanese.
(As far as George Wassouf goes, almost everything I have is on cassette. If you were interested in him, I would avoid the stuff after, say, 1994, but you might want to go back farther than that. Of course, I doubt many Arabic music distributors include release dates on their sites.)
Ali Aldik - Aloush (Hooked on debka!)
For possibly heavier stuff (with more of an Egyptian slant), I recommend these:
(1) Popular performers with a classical and traditional foundation. (Many Arabs would simply describe this as classial music, actually):
Oum Kalthoum - Ana Fe Entezarak
Oum Kalthoum - Roba'Eyat El Khayam
Oum Kalthoum - Ya Zalemny
Oum Kalthoum - Al Atlal
Asmahan - Asmahan [ASMCD 601]
Farid El Atrache - Wehyat Eineri [Cairophon, CXGCD 629]
Farid El Atrache - The Legend [EMI393850] (I don't know all these songs by names, but based on what I recognize, it looks like a good compilation)
Fairouz - Safarbarlek - Bint el Harass
Marcel Khalife - At the Border
(2) Instrumental &/or mostly classical or folkloric:
Rahim AlHaj - When the Soul is Settled - Music of Iraq
Ali Jihad Racy - Simon Shaheen - Taqasim
Various Artists - Maqams of Syria
Farida - Mawal & Maqamat Iraqi
Ghada Shbeir - Al Muwashahat
Ensemble Al-Umayri - The Sawt in Kuwait
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 31 May 2007 00:12 (5 years ago) Permalink
Thanks for those clips Rockist, they have made my night here at work. This guy is the real deal. Any recs for a beginner in this area ?
-- oscar, Wednesday, May 30, 2007 3:50 AM (Yesterday)
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 31 May 2007 00:25 (5 years ago) Permalink
Yousef Shamoun (excessively long intro.):
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 31 May 2007 03:29 (5 years ago) Permalink
okay so i heard thsi great song with this massive beat, and this woman's voice singing in arabic, a really light, falsetto vibrato voice, and the words repeat the line
"i need you, my sweetheart" or "ana eyzak, ya habibi"
it's one of the best things i think i've ever heard, and i have NO idea what it is. i just have it on this mix. i'm gonna have to figure this out.
also, the song starts with like this bizarre sigourney weaver quote, or something, something from a movie - i'll have to decipher the quote when i get home
― Surmounter, Thursday, 31 May 2007 18:36 (5 years ago) Permalink
If you can put it up somewhere I will try to identify it. Do you know what country it's from?
― Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 31 May 2007 18:47 (5 years ago) Permalink
no i don't but i will put it up tonight, i'm AAAACCCCHING to know. it sounds really, really, really beautiful to me.
― Surmounter, Thursday, 31 May 2007 21:10 (5 years ago) Permalink
rockist i'm gonna have to email it to you for now.
so the quote at the beginning definitely sounds like sigourney weaver and it's like "the earth was like a giant marble, an i was a ---- on it"
i'm forgetting what the word is, and i don't want to go back to the beginning right now cuz this lady is singing and crooning and i'm melting.
― Surmounter, Friday, 1 June 2007 12:52 (5 years ago) Permalink
no: the earth was like a marble, and i was a giant on it
― Surmounter, Friday, 1 June 2007 12:55 (5 years ago) Permalink
Well, it sounds like something I won't be able to identify, but I might at least have some idea of its provenance.
― Rockist Scientist, Friday, 1 June 2007 12:59 (5 years ago) Permalink
fucking Transglobal Underground with Natasha Atlas
I know, BUT this song is AMAZING! really mindblowing.
― Surmounter, Thursday, 14 June 2007 19:13 (5 years ago) Permalink
there seems to be no thread about Sudanese music so I'm asking here, does anyone know Abdel Gadir Salim? I think I've heard a record by him yesterday, forgot the name but remember talking about Sudanese blues
anyone heard of this guy?
― rizzx, Sunday, 11 November 2007 19:23 (5 years ago) Permalink
Here's something from Sudan
― Heave Ho, Sunday, 11 November 2007 20:56 (5 years ago) Permalink
Are there any threads on oud music? I searched for some but could not find any. I now have some random oud records, and I am curious as to whether they are by people previously recommended.
― The Real Dirty Vicar, Monday, 12 November 2007 13:14 (5 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Monday, 12 November 2007 13:15 (5 years ago) Permalink
(I am awake.)
― Rockist Scientist, Monday, 12 November 2007 13:16 (5 years ago) Permalink
Duh, I never thought to search for oudists. Cheers RS.
― The Real Dirty Vicar, Monday, 12 November 2007 15:48 (5 years ago) Permalink
Sexy Lebanese music site:
― Rockist Scientist, Friday, 4 January 2008 23:56 (5 years ago) Permalink
(Actually Amro Diab isn't Lebanese, but Oscar D'Leon isn't Puerto Rican either and he shows up on PR music sites, so whatever--I care about her. Please tell me that's not just some generic windows thing.)
― Rockist Scientist, Friday, 4 January 2008 23:57 (5 years ago) Permalink
If you're into Lebanese pop, by far my fave is Nancy Ajram:
― baaderonixx, Saturday, 5 January 2008 10:30 (5 years ago) Permalink
We would like to invite you to this year's Andalousies Atlantiques Festival, celebrating the prodigious musical heritage of al-Andalus. This year's event will take place in Essaouira from October 30 to November 1, 2008 and will pay tribute to two giants of Judeo-Arabic music who passed away earlier this year - the Moroccan Sami El Maghribi and the Algerian Lili Boniche. Among the groups performing are El Gusto, a 50-person ensemble that reunites veteran chaabi musicians who performed together in the casbah of Algiers in the 1950s - including Maurice El Medioni, Ahmed Bernaoui, Rene Perez, and Luc Cherki under the leadership of Abdelhadi Halo; Maxime Karouchi, a young Moroccan-born vocalist who performs Andalusian nuba, and Sami El Maghribi's melhoun and chaabi repertoire; Mohamed Briouel and the Orchestre Andalous de Fes - Briouel directs the Music Conservatory of Fez, and won the Prix du Maroc for his book Moroccan Andalusian Music: Nouba Gharibat Al Husayn; and the group Jil Jilala, who fuse the rhythms of Issawa and Gnawa with melhoun, and whose songs of protest of the 1970s and 1980s have become classics.
During the morning, panels will bring together researchers, journalists and musicians to discuss the music legacy of al-Andalus. Films, documentaries and exhibits will be shown during the afternoon - concerts begin at 6:00pm.
Here is a link to a newsreport on last year's Andalousies Atlantiques festival:
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 19 October 2008 00:56 (4 years ago) Permalink
The Arabesque music festival at the Kennedy Center in DC from February 23rd to March 15th should be good.
Here are some of the February events and I've linked below to the site for all of the gigs
Oud Knights with Amina and Shayma: When Oud Speaks (female oud players from Bahrain) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage__________________________________________________________Tues. 2-24Al-Farah Choir: Damascene Jasmine (Based in the Lady of Damascus Church in Syria, more than 100 children of the choir perform Byzantine, Muslim, and Arab songs) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Lebanese Oud master Marcel Khalife w/ the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra with Lorin Maazel conducting at the Kennedy Center Opera House
Cie2k(Moroccan choreographer Khalid Benghrib's all male contemp. Dance co.) at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (US premiere)
__________________________________________________________Wed. 2-25Chabab Al Andalous Rabat Orchestra with Bajeddoub Mohammed and Ronda Bahae ( orchestra from Rabat, Morocco seeks to preserve Andalusian music using Arabic poems and traditional instruments) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Bachir Attar & the Master Musicians of Jajouka at 8 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater (highly recommended)__________________________________________________________Thurs. 2-26Amine and Hamza (Tunisian brothers, oud player Amine and qanun player Hamza M'Raihi play classical Middle Eastern music, as well as their own compositions) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage__________________________________________________________Fri. 2-27
K'NAAN (Hailing from war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, hip hop artist K'NAAN grew up during the Somali civil war. Despite speaking no English, he taught himself hip hop and rap diction and now lives in Toronto) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Ensemble Al-Kindi with Sheikh Habboush and the Whirling Dervishes of Aleppo, Syria for an evening of music and dance at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater (should be good I think!)
Nawal (France-based singer from the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean whose acoustic sound is said to resemble Indo-Arabian-Persian music meets Bantu polyphonies, and the syncopated rhythms and Sufi trance of the Indian Ocean. Nawal sings in Comoran, Arabic, French and English) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 February 2009 04:01 (4 years ago) Permalink
RS, any recommendations?
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 February 2009 13:16 (4 years ago) Permalink
That looks great. I'd be curious to hear the female oudists from Bahrain. (Do they accept groupies?) My impression is that there are a lot of good oudists in the Gulf that we just don't hear or hear about much over here. (See the 4-CD Muscat (sp?) oud festival box set.)
I think Khalife plus orchestra tends to be boring, especially if he's doing his instrumental music. (I like his old protest songs best, like the Arab in the street.)
I sometimes think of starting a new thread like this, but making an annual rolling thread, even a broad one, wouldn't make sense. I don't hear enough new-to-me Arabic stuff in one year to justify that.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Wednesday, 11 February 2009 23:41 (4 years ago) Permalink
Yea, just use this one.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 12 February 2009 05:44 (4 years ago) Permalink
I missed the Bahrain female oud duo last night but the hour gig was videotaped and you can watch it here http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/artist_detail.cfm?artist_id=AMINASHAYM
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 24 February 2009 12:31 (4 years ago) Permalink
I did get a press ticket to the hour and 15 minute "Arabeque" sampler preview event-
a mostly sweet-voiced 100 child Damascus choir;
a noisy awesome number by Bachir Attar and the Master Musicians of Jajouka from Morocco(4 percussionists and 4 guys on what I think is called a ghaita, which is like an oboe but squeeks more );
a solo ghaita number by Attar;
the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra doing a Marcel Khalife composition with Khalife's younger son hitting a smallish bongo-like percussion instrument(his playing made the piece); a literature reading;
"Oman, Oh man" a dance number choreographed by Debbie Allen and featuring a young vocalist nicely chanting to Allah;
Marcel Khalife and his Al Mayadine Ensemble doing a tribute to Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, plus another number. Khalife's voice is so warm and touching while his oud playing is more raw in feel and his band jazzy---his oldest son playing discordant piano, youngest son sitting on a wooden box and banging it--like a Peruvian cajon; and an acoustic bass player getting deep notes out of his instrument. They got real noisy at one point with the piano-playing son, his black jeans hanging low, grabbing the insides of the piano with one hand while htting the keys with the other. Meanwhile, Dad, with a bright red scarf draped dramatically around his neck, feverishly moved the bottom hand on his big ol pear-shaped oud.
The audience was a mix of folks speaking Arabic and dressed in various types of traditional garb, tuxedoed guys who may be Kennedy Center big bucks donors, young Arab women in short skirts and high boots; State Department people and others...
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 24 February 2009 12:52 (4 years ago) Permalink
That sounds pretty good, including the Khalife segments.
I can't watch/hear that oud video here, because the same IT department that hasn't updated their two year out of date version of Explorer also hasn't seen fit to make Real Audio available.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Tuesday, 24 February 2009 22:47 (4 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 25 February 2009 00:03 (4 years ago) Permalink
I can't believe Ensemble Al-Kindi with Sheikh Habboush and the Whirling Dervishes of Aleppo, Syria at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theatre was sold-out Friday night and there were no press passes left. Grrrrr.
Lots more coming to Arabesque in March
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 1 March 2009 03:35 (4 years ago) Permalink
March Arabesque events at Kennedy Center (lotsa good ones)
Farida and the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble with Malouma (Mauritania singer/ ardin ten-stringed Mauritanian harp instrumentalist and Senator whose music blends Moorish traditional music with rock and reggae, and was once banned) at 8 at the the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theatre
_______________________________________________________________________Tues. 3-3Rami Khalifé ( Oud player Marcel Khalife’s piano-playing son melds classical, improvised jazz, Lebanese and more) with his Juilliard colleague Francesco Tristano ) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Cie La BARAKA (Abou Lagraa, French/Algerian choreographer fuses hip-hop, contemporary dance, and multimedia visuals) at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
Bnet Houariyat (from the region of Marrakech, Morocco, the five women perform traditional Berber songs and dances) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Karima Mansour (Egyptian dancer/choreographer) & percussionist “Temporament” at the Kennedy Center Family Theater ______________________________________________________________________Thurs. 3-5
Kinan Azmeh (Syrian clarinetist combines classical with jazz, electronica and Arab music) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Salma El Assal (leading Sudanese vocalist—her voice has been compared to Aretha Franklin) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Author and actress Heather Raffo teams with jazz trumpeter and Iraqi santoor player Amir El Saffar for spoken word and music at 7:30 at the Kennedy Center Family Theatre Simon Shaheen (leading Arab composer and multi-instrumentalist directs an evening entitled “Aswat-Celebrating the Golden Age of Arab Music -1920’s to 1950’s) with a traditional, 12- to 15-piece Arab orchestra and special guest vocalists at 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater
Suheir Hammad (female Palestinian-American hiphop influenced poet) ) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Marcel Khalifé (Lebanese oud player) and his group pay tribute to the late contemporary Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater
Hoba Hoba Spirit (Casablanca, Morocco electric guitar and drums group plays self-described “Haiha Music,” loosely translated as “Wild Partying Music,” inspired by metal-punk, Gnawa, and Sufi music) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Fathy Salama and orchestra : “Sultany” (Egyptian pianist, producer, arranger, composer of Arabic and jazz sounds who combines trad and modern sounds and collaborated with Youssou N'Dour on the awesome album, Egypt) at 7:30 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
Oriental Music Ensemble of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine (classical and contemporary Arab music for oud, nay, clarinet, qanun, and percussion) ) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Ahmed Fathi (Yemeni singer and oud player) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
________________________________________________________________________ Sat. 3-14
Rum-Tareq Al Nasser (Jordan) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
_______________________________________________________________________ Sun. 3-15
Djamel Laroussi and his band (Algerian who combines North African/Saharan desert rhythms with reggae, jazz, hard rock, pop, soul, and funk) ) for free from 6 to 7 (and webcast and archived) at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 1 March 2009 06:22 (4 years ago) Permalink
I'd love to see the Simon Shaheen and the Fathy Salama gigs but I think I'm gonna be busy on the parenting front those nights.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 2 March 2009 14:43 (4 years ago) Permalink
Farida and the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble with Malouma (Mauritania singer/ ardin ten-stringed Mauritanian harp instrumentalist
This is going to be a real vocal blow-out. I don't find I enjoy listening to Mauritanian music at home, but I'd be very interested in seeing it live again. But anyway, both singers have very physically powerful voices, I think. (I can't quite recall what Malouma sounds like, but any traditional Mauritanian singer is going to have to have a powerful voice).
Ahmed Fathi (Yemeni singer and oud player) for free from 6 to 7
Fathi is a fantastic oudist and very good singer. I'd definitely recommend trying to make this if possible.
The others I've either commented on enough before or don't know.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Monday, 2 March 2009 19:22 (4 years ago) Permalink
I can at least see the Fathi one (and the other 6 to 7 gigs) online if I can't make it.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 2 March 2009 20:29 (4 years ago) Permalink
I went to this. Malouma has a rougher-edged voice but she is also into blues and jazz a bit and those influences ocassionally showed in her vocals. She had a guitarist who added blues fills and once, ZZ Top accents. She was backed by two West African women who sounded more Senegalese than Moorish/Arabic, plus a drummer, bass and another guitarist. The ardin looked and sounded cool.
Farida I discovered is known as "the Voice of Mesopotamia." Wow, what a voice. It filled the hall. Her band was more traditional than Malouma's. The songs all followed similar patterns which ocassionally got a little dull. Interesting instruments though, a hammer dulcimer-like thing, a zither like thing, a homemade vertical thin fiddle, an Arabic tambourine, and a nice violin player.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 4 March 2009 03:22 (4 years ago) Permalink
Washington Times (conservative Moonie-owned paper) dance critic Jean Battey Lewis excerpt (plus W. Times readers comments):
There's an element of chance in choosing what to see and hear among these mostly unfamiliar works. Sometimes it comes a cropper, as did something Friday night billed as a dance performance with whirling dervishes. Three whirling dervishes made a brief appearance and offered a short finale in a two-hour program of nasal singing by the Ensemble Al-Kindi. A purpose of the festival is to offer new experiences and different aesthetics, but for truth in advertising, it would have been good to know the program was about singing, not dancing. The Syrian dervishes evidently have become more of a tourist attraction, often paired on a program with belly dancers. http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/03/dance-arabesque-immersion/
meanwhile a commenter says:I don't like Islam or the Muslim culture. This propaganda should be boycotted.
March 3, 2009 at 3:51 p.m.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 4 March 2009 15:47 (4 years ago) Permalink
Some interesting Arabesque shows in DC this weekend. See the schedule I listed a few posts up.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 6 March 2009 15:20 (4 years ago) Permalink
This guy blogged on March 7th about the Sudanese singer Salma El Assal show and the Simon Shaheen one (with Umm K. on the video screen)
― curmudgeon, Monday, 9 March 2009 13:14 (4 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 10:09 (4 years ago) Permalink
share Arabic Movies, Arab video, Arabic video, video Arab and play Arabic MP3s. After registering Free, members can join groups based on their interests. A classified page allows members to advertise to others in the community, while the events page publicizes happenings of interest. even members can find Arabic singles and love for free.http://www.myarabplace.com/
― model4tees, Sunday, 14 June 2009 17:25 (3 years ago) Permalink
I don't remember which Milhem Baraket songs I've linked to in the past, so I'm trying again. I really like this one, and these rhythms are fantastic:
His recorded output isn't very well-documented on CD, but I think it deserves to be.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Saturday, 18 July 2009 19:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
Also, I ought to infiltrate that myarabplace.com
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Saturday, 18 July 2009 19:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
To me he's pretty uneven, but some of his songs are fantastic. These are a mixed bag. I particularly like "Kel Elli Beshofak" and "Lamma Habibak" from these:
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Saturday, 18 July 2009 20:11 (3 years ago) Permalink
Some day I need to obtain copies of more than 2% of Mohammed Abdo's recorded output.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 31 July 2009 21:01 (3 years ago) Permalink
That song is really good by the way.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 31 July 2009 21:02 (3 years ago) Permalink
I've got a killer version of this on cassette, but this is good too. Great song:
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Monday, 3 August 2009 18:26 (3 years ago) Permalink
Amazing twist-turny melodies and rhythms that periodically re-collect the songs momentum. (Music theory.)
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Monday, 3 August 2009 18:30 (3 years ago) Permalink
Those "twisty-turny" melodies are based off of different "maqamat" or arabic modes. These are then played in usually a heterophonic texture ornamented to invoke "tarab," which roughly translates to "extacy." Oum Kulthum, Farid al-Trach, Asmahan, Abd al Halim Hafez, etc--however you want to spell their names--were masters of manifesting such bliss for their audiences.
- apologies if this has already been explained in this thread -
― wolf_train, Monday, 3 August 2009 19:13 (3 years ago) Permalink
Well, it's been discussed elsewhere if not, but that's okay. I think it's unfortuante that a lot of Arab popular music, especially in Egypt, has become less heterophonic, because that to me is one of the things that gives Arab music its charm.
A.J. Racy's Making Music in the Arab World is a good discussion of the themes you are bringing up, for anyone interested.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Monday, 3 August 2009 19:19 (3 years ago) Permalink
Ali Jihad Racy actually is exactly who I am referring to. Good call.
― wolf_train, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 18:18 (3 years ago) Permalink
If we've both read A.J. Racy, that makes us the Arab music "experts" here!
I'm still not sure that the melodic arabesques are strictly a result of the maqam system though. I hear other music I consider has what I would call twisty-turny melodies. Part of it, I think, is the length of the vocal line. It's like when you listen to passages from the Qur'an that have really long lines: they go on in this elaborate way, because the qari has to keep doing something. So I mean, I think it's partly a byproduct of the length of the vocal lines.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 18:28 (3 years ago) Permalink
I would say that specific melodic patterns (specific scale degrees, ornamentations, and so on) trigger tarab as well, but I see what you are saying.
“Frequently voiced is the opinion that maqamat with such ‘neutral’ steps [referring to microtones], embody ecstatic qualities that are extraordinarily potent (Racy pg98).”
― wolf_train, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 20:06 (3 years ago) Permalink
I've mostly grown out of listening to Warda, but there are some great songs and moments in her output. This might be my favorite song of hers (by way of composer Baligh Hamdi):
(Ignore the moronic comment saying Warda is overrated but still better than Oum Kalthoum. Oum Kalthoum is the gold standard.)
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 21 August 2009 19:18 (3 years ago) Permalink
I've mostly grown out of listening to Warda
Sorry, I should have found a less obnoxious way of putting this.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 21 August 2009 19:19 (3 years ago) Permalink
don't worry about it
― wolf_train, Friday, 21 August 2009 19:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
Lots of performers from Yemen I know nothing about. Seems very 70s with the electric guitar and saxophone (which only show up briefly):
(Mohammed Abdo is originally from Yemen, I'm pretty sure.)
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 4 September 2009 18:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
This is pretty great (maybe more for the "band" than the singer):
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 4 September 2009 18:14 (3 years ago) Permalink
Crazy late 60s (or early 70s?) Abdel Halim Hafez song, music by Mohamed Abdel Wahab. Shockingly shlocky at times, but frequently brilliant and beautiful:
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 23:45 (3 years ago) Permalink
I like the way it skips along at 4:14 here:
And that flute (of whatever sort) sounds like what I imagine Blake's "piping down the valleys wild" would sound like.
The audiences were totally bonkers by this point in time though. I think maybe too bonkers.
― _Rockist__Scientist_, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 00:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
I don't know what to say about this except that it's such a slice of Arab (Syrian) life sort of thing.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 12:23 (3 years ago) Permalink
I saw this guy in Atlantic City (as I've probably mentioned a few times already).
The Sublime Frequencies Iraq disc is great fun.
― The Real Dirty Vicar, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 12:31 (3 years ago) Permalink
Some of this early George Wassouf stuff was pretty killer:
DV, I don't know, I find a lot of that Choubi Choubi compilation to be filler.
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 02:43 (3 years ago) Permalink
Okay, wait this is seriously one my favorite George Wassouf songs:
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 02:49 (3 years ago) Permalink
I think this one is something of an Arab standard. Kazem El Saher also does a version of this:
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 03:11 (3 years ago) Permalink
Those keyboards that come in a little before two minutes in!
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 03:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
I had totally forgotten that I once started a thread just for this purpose:
George Wassouf, the gateway drug. (Now the truth can be told, via youtube.)
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 03:56 (3 years ago) Permalink
This was one of my favorites too and I suppose I am liking this quasi-early GW stuff again:
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 04:02 (3 years ago) Permalink
And here's Roh el Roh, for old time's sake:
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 04:09 (3 years ago) Permalink
Needs more discourse. :(
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 05:55 (3 years ago) Permalink
There's a middle eastern restaurant near my work and I go there once in a while. They generally have on an Arab music channel, and the trend seems to be for videos that have pointlessly long credits at the end, like half as long as the main portion of the video itself. And there's nothing particularly impressive about most of the videos. Very peculiar. I still think Arab pop/popular music is in pretty sad shape at them moment, overall, especially the Egyptian or imitation-Egyptian stuff. I do find more to like in current khaleeji music.
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 26 October 2009 02:47 (3 years ago) Permalink
EMBASSY OF BAHRAIN3502 International Drive NW Washington DCFriday, November 13, 2009, 7:30 PM
Join us for a wonderful celebration of Bahraini music with outstanding artists from Bahrain. A lavish buffet follows. This is our first Arabian Gulf State. Come celebrate with us. $100/BUFFET
With: ten year veteran on acoustic and electric guitar, Mr. Mohammed has played with several artists and groups from Bahrain such as alshimoo band, ikhuwa band, latin jazz and the Lumavida Band. He collaborated with the Maestro Khalifa Zeman in a song composed and produced by Mr. Khalifa Zeman, of the Bahraini Music Group, and was part of the National Festival of Bahrain.
Zeyad Khalifa bin Zaiman
A Bahraini artist, musician and pianist since age 2, Mr. Zaiman has participated in festivals, local and international competitions, and television and Radio programs. Mr. Zaiman plays the clarinet, guitar, piano and many other instruments on his own compositions. At this event he will be performing mostly on clarinet and piano. He is working now towards earning his degree in Music at the Higher Institute for Music in Kuwait.
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 1 November 2009 15:14 (3 years ago) Permalink
Banning Eyre from the new afropop blog:
Flew into Vegas on Tuesday night for the big Sahra spectacle at the MGM Grand. Khaled from Algeria, Assala Nasri from Syria, and Rida Al Abdulla from Iraq will headline an extravagant stage show featuring 100 musicians and dancers. All to raise money for children's causes in N. Africa and the Middle East. This is a rare one. Very few non-English music shows ever play on the big stages here, and this will be in the Garden Arena, set up to seat some 8,000. (Its full capacity is twice that!) http://www.afropop.org/banningsblog/"> http://www.afropop.org/banningsblog/
― curmudgeon, Friday, 20 November 2009 05:23 (3 years ago) Permalink
When I was considering interviewing for a job in Las Vegas, the prospect of seeing Arab performers perform there occasionally was definitely a plus. In fact, I think it's a little more common for big-name Arab performers to perform there than in most other cities in the U.S., possibly even NYC. (I decided Albuquerque is already a little too dry for me, so Vegas was out, not to mention the more extreme heat as well.)
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 20 November 2009 05:43 (3 years ago) Permalink
More on the big show in Vegas
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 26 November 2009 15:59 (3 years ago) Permalink
I really wish Baligh Hamdi had done some all-instrumental recordings:
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 26 December 2009 01:49 (3 years ago) Permalink
These are fantastic.
― US EEL (u s steel), Saturday, 26 December 2009 02:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
Thanks, not that I can take a lot of credit for them.
Samira Tewfic (Toufic, Toufiq, Tawfik):
Sounds like Lebanese band behind here (I think she lives there), but looks like concert is in a Gulf state.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 02:41 (3 years ago) Permalink
I could just completely bullshit here. "That style of ney playing is obviously Jordanian." Nobody would know the difference.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 02:44 (3 years ago) Permalink
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 03:57 (3 years ago) Permalink
I think that's a really good song, it's not so much about her own contribution. I guess I will have to pick up the 2 CD best of that came out a couple years back.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 04:05 (3 years ago) Permalink
Just bought my first Sublime Frequencies disc, Choubi Choubi! Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq. Seems very good. This label seems a little dodgy to me, tho? (according to PopMatters, the label "sometimes . . . just go(es) to Asian countries and tape(s) great songs off the radio")
― Daniel, Esq., Friday, 1 January 2010 04:13 (3 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, I don't know. I do think that in some cases the whole idea of copyright is fairly loose in the Middle East. Trying to track down the real copyright holders for Iraqi songs from twnety or thirty or more years ago probably isn't all that easy, though a couple people on that compilation do have actual releases available through importers. They seem to be smart enough to stay away from most big name artists with major label backing. Anyway, I wouldn't not buy Sublime Frequencies CDs.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 04:20 (3 years ago) Permalink
Oh, yeah. I bought a total of four Sublime Frequencies discs at the Smithsonian today: Choubi Choubi!; Bollywood Steel Guitar; Thai Pop Spectacular (1960 -- 1980s); and Siamese Soul: Thai Pop Spectacular Vol. 2 (1960 -- 1980s).
― Daniel, Esq., Friday, 1 January 2010 04:23 (3 years ago) Permalink
This singer, Salah AbdulGhafour, is my favorite on that compilation (probably my favorite Iraqi singer though I don't know that much about Iraqi music):
This is a bit less wild than most of the stuff on that CD though.
I think this is him again with dancing girls:
(Roots of reggaeton. . .)
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 04:26 (3 years ago) Permalink
And this is my favorite song of his (actually just a cover of a standard):
(I had lost track of this, or it had disappeared, but here it is again.)
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 04:33 (3 years ago) Permalink
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 04:40 (3 years ago) Permalink
O_O. Diggin' the music, too. The visuals help, tho.
― Daniel, Esq., Friday, 1 January 2010 04:47 (3 years ago) Permalink
I am listening to an album, Rhythms (generic name, unpromising cover) by Ahmed el Hifnawi, Oum Kalthoum lead violinist (or however you would describe it), the one who took the solos and kept the violin section in order, etc. This is the last of three of his CDs I just picked up. (A fourth that I ordered was apparently unavailable.) In addition the more conventional instrumentation on the first two CDs, this one has that great electric keyboard you hear in a lot of Egyptian recordings from the late 60s through the 70s. In fact, I'm surprised by how much the keyboard is featured here--happily surprised, not because I don't like el Hifnawi, but because I'm always asking: why didn't they record more instrumental jams with those electric keyboards? One downside is that these are studio recordings and the approach is more "serious" and cautious, so the keyboards aren't played with the abandon one hears on live recordings, but just in terms of timbre, it's pretty great. And funny how nothing about the title would clue one in to the fact that this is keyboard heavy; if anything I might have expected more emphasis on percussion, obviously. Alas, no credits in English on this thing, and very little in the way of liner notes even in Arabic.
This collection of el Hifnawi reissues appeared a couple years back. I don't think I've ever seen any solo el Hifnawi on CD since I've been looking for such things. You can peruse them at http://www.rashid.com/enter.asp
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 24 February 2010 01:46 (3 years ago) Permalink
I should probably research the upcoming Sunday February 28 Masters of Persian Music with Kayhan Kalhor on kamancheh and Hossein Alizadeh on tar and young vocalist Hamid Reza Nourbakhsh, leading disciple of the renowned Mohammad Reza Shajarian, show at the Kennedy Center
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 24 February 2010 06:19 (3 years ago) Permalink
Whatever you think is best.
Just a quick note about that Rhythms CD, since I put so much emphasis on the electric keyboard. Before y'all run out and buy it, I should let you know it's only on the first track. (It's still a good album.)
― _Rudipherous_, Thursday, 25 February 2010 23:30 (3 years ago) Permalink
As far as Persian musicians go, at the moment I'm most interested in hearing Hossein Alizadeh.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 26 February 2010 11:15 (3 years ago) Permalink
But I think I'm more interested in his more "experimental" work, like his electrified instrument: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/halizadeh2 or his fusions with western classical: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/halizadeh, just because I don't totally relate to Persian classical music. In fact, I've decided my strategy w/r/t to Iranian and Turkish music should be to go for the impure material (whether westernized or experimental).
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 26 February 2010 11:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
The very interesting Iranian label Hermes Records also carries dozens of CDs on which Alizadeh appears in some capacity or other:
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 26 February 2010 12:03 (3 years ago) Permalink
Also that work I said is electrified is not. Not sure where I got that idea.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 26 February 2010 14:23 (3 years ago) Permalink
Hossein Alizadeh is interesting. Watched a Youtube. The Masters of Persian Music tour that he is on, I see includes more than just DC on Sunday. I saw references to Boston and elsewhere online. I think I might have to miss it now though.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 26 February 2010 16:05 (3 years ago) Permalink
RFI: music like tanger music?
― bamcquern, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 01:12 (3 years ago) Permalink
Can't help there.
Of the three Al Hifnawi CDs I bought, so far I like this best:
The Grand Melodies of Om Kalsoum. He's performing here with her orchestra (of which he was a member, of course), but it sounds to me like a slightly more stripped down version of it than you hear in a lot of her mid-to-late-career recordings, which is a good thing in my book. For one thing, there seems to be a bit more heterophonic stuff going on, at least on some cuts. This collection focuses on songs from the late 30s and 40s (also I good thing, imo). Anyway, I think this is an excellent instrumental introduction to the old classical/popular Egyptian music. It might just work as a way to ease people into approaching Oum Kalthoum's vocals somewhere down the line. If it isn't obvious, Al Hifnawi's violin takes the place (to the extent that's possible, etc. etc.) of Oum Kalthoum's voice here.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 5 March 2010 01:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
it sounds to me like a slightly more stripped down version of it
Could just be the arrangements and not actually a change in the size of the orchestra. Plus, given the quieter dynamics of Al Hifnawi's violin playing, it can't really let itself get as loud as it would in accompanying Oum Kalthoum's amplified voice.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 5 March 2010 01:59 (3 years ago) Permalink
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 20 March 2010 05:31 (3 years ago) Permalink
This very odd cover makes me want this, though I'm pretty sure I don't like Haifa Wehbe:
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 16 April 2010 09:22 (3 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Friday, 7 May 2010 16:44 (3 years ago) Permalink
Ghazal is doing a 6 city tour of North America with Afghan pop singer Jonibek. They'll be at the Sheraton in Tyson's Corner Virginia out side DC Friday May 21 and in a Marriot in Melville, NY (Long Island) Sat. May 22
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 20 May 2010 03:58 (3 years ago) Permalink
Not being facetious, but this might better go on an Indian or Persian music thread. Afghan music is more closely related to those. Of course I haven't looked at these particular artists so maybe there is some connection I'm missing.
― _Rudipherous_, Thursday, 20 May 2010 04:24 (3 years ago) Permalink
Oh, that song sounds pretty good, and she's really cute as well.
― _Rudipherous_, Thursday, 20 May 2010 04:25 (3 years ago) Permalink
I wasn't sure where to put it-- I think I mentioned the show on the global whirled thread but then decided it might be better elsewhere. There's no Afghan thread and I do not know enough about that music to say whether it is more like Persian or Indian than Arabic.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 20 May 2010 13:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
This is great! I have this on cassette!
Milhem Baraket. Did I already post a version of this song, I can't remember?
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 03:10 (2 years ago) Permalink
More earlyish George Wassouf:
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 03:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
No pretty sure that's the first time I've found and linked to that Melhem Baraket song.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 03:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
The way the song unfolds and builds is just impeccable. I like the way the lines get repeated and there is a different melody for each line (is there?), which incidentally may mean that this is following a relatively classical sort of approach to song structure. If I remember my Ali Jihad Racy.
I'm pretty sure he writes most of his own material, incidentally.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 03:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
Not that it's considered polite to mention such things on ILM.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 03:58 (2 years ago) Permalink
Listening again: these rhythms feel soooooo comfortable to me and they have from the beginning as far as I can remember. I may not actually dance to this, but I definitely dance inside, and it's hard not imagine some sort of movement, though I don't think I'm quite up to doing what the music asks for. Too bad the audio is even worse than what I have on cassette.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
Love the seemingly compulsive ornamentation on the keyboard parts too.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:03 (2 years ago) Permalink
You guys have no ears!
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 13:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
I realize abuse is not actual helpful, but come on.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 13:02 (2 years ago) Permalink
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 28 July 2010 02:49 (2 years ago) Permalink
It's a shame the way the distinctive Arab sounding (monophonic? I think it's monophonic) chorus came to dominate so much of this music. I'd probably listen to far more Arabic music if it weren't for this chorus sound being all over the place. Right now I am checking out clips from some Sabah and Wadi el Safi CDs. I love the lead vocals. I like the material being sung. But the choirs are kind of annoying. It's not that I can't tolerate them, but I don't need to hear dozens or hundreds of albums with that same sound. And if it's so essential, why did Oum Kalthoum successfully do without it for most of her career?
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 13:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
If I were the Arabic Music Czar. . .
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 13:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
Way to ruin a lot of great music, guys!
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 13:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
This is the sound that has pretty much dominated Arabic popular music since, at least in Egypt (but Egypt tends to export the most music to the rest of the Arab world). I'm pretty sure this track is from the original "new sound" album. This is the sound that initially drew me to Arabic music, really, although I pretty immediately liked some other things once exposed to them (not Oum Kalthoum though).
I find rmi3000's channel fascinating because it covers the early history of "new sound" which is where my personal history with Arabic music begins (give or taking a very small amount of dabbling before that).
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 15:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
Just kinda lazily wrapping up loose ends here, I think.
One of my personal nicknames for this music at the time I was listening to a ton of it was "clap clap music."
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 15:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
Well then, here's Milhem Baraket performing what I'm pretty sure is just a song everybody covers, but I'm not sure exactly how old it is:
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 16:27 (2 years ago) Permalink
a song everybody covers
Every Lebanese male singer anyway.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 16:40 (2 years ago) Permalink
I mentioned Nour Mehanna upthread, but I never linked to any yootoobs:
Pretty amazing vocalist. (Syrian.)
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 17:21 (2 years ago) Permalink
Also does stuff like this, and various others points in between a more classical/traditionalist approach and pop:
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 17:25 (2 years ago) Permalink
Lebanon 80's Top 100 Arabic Hits:
I recognize #39 (in fact, I wish I knew who it was), so it was still kicking around on mixes in the first half of the 90s.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 19:58 (2 years ago) Permalink
I love it when Rudipherous talks to itself.
― bamcquern, Sunday, 1 August 2010 20:40 (2 years ago) Permalink
It's sad that no one else here (including me) knows anything about this music to converse with him. I wish more folks familiar with Arabic music who could converse in English knew about this board.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 2 August 2010 01:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
Fairuz from Lebanon on NPR
― curmudgeon, Monday, 2 August 2010 01:56 (2 years ago) Permalink
And a Radio Lebanon dj's summer faves on NPR (well, a story about one, and a listing of others)!
― curmudgeon, Monday, 2 August 2010 01:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
She still refuses interviews
Pretty sure I've seen recent interviews with her.
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 02:13 (2 years ago) Permalink
Anyway, curmudgeon, don't worry. I have the music itself, though it would be nice to know more about it, just on a basic "what is this song so I can look for a better copy of it of some sort" kind of way. It's funny that I'm all excited to find a song like that Milhem Barakat song on youtube after all these years, only to be met by silence here when I share it. But it's okay. I have no doubts about the song.
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 02:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
The weird thing for me in hearing that Barakat song is how his intonation and scale-climbing at the very beginning reminds me vaguely of some cantors I have heard in synagogues. Middle East conflicts will go on and on but at the risk of sounding cliched, the peoples share certain cultural similarities.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 2 August 2010 03:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
He's a Christian, like a lot of prominent Lebanese singers, so that strand of liturgical tradition (probably the Maronite church specifically) would be a source for him. I'm not sure if that's closer to Jewish cantorial tradition than Qur'anic recitation (etc.), but possibly. Let me mention again that those Ghada Shbeir recordings Syriac liturgical music are worth hearing (and some of this music is clearly a source for Lebanese popular music, or shares a common source).
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 13:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Monday, 2 August 2010 18:30 (2 years ago) Permalink
Rudipherous: As far as I know, that Milhem Barakat song you posted a few days ago (يا عين صبى دمع) is an original of his.
― Ivor, Monday, 2 August 2010 18:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
Thanks. What would an English transliteration of that title look like (roughly)?
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 18:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
Oh wait, that one. I think the one at the beginning is traditional, but the other one they go into is his. You are talking about the last Barakat clip I posted? There's a mawwal, then there's a song I recognize from other singers (and it sort of goes back and forth between mawwal and the song, which is how the song goes anyway), then it goes into another song that I think I have heard on one of his tapes before (and which sounds like it's in his style). But for all I know, that first song is his too. I just know I've heard George Wassouf sing it (and it seems odd to me that he'd cover a Barakat song since they are more like competitors, where covering Oum Kalthoum or Warda songs makes more sense since they are clearly in another league) as well as another Lebanese singer whose name is escaping me (maybe another George).
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 19:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
On here: http://www.maqam.com/store/p/1358-Sahra-Ataba-Mijana.html
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 19:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
Oh Eye, Shedder of Tears = يا عين صبى دمع
Yeah the first part is a traditional extolling the virtues and beauty of Beirut, the real song doesn't start til the real drums kick in. As for Georges Wassouf's cover, I'm not familiar with it, I do know Ilyas Nakhla had a pretty popular cover.
Also, for some reason I am really digging Georges Wassouf - Allah Kareem (الله كريم - جورج وسوف) even though last year I couldn't stand the song when half the taxi drivers and half the satellite channels were playing it nonstop. Dunno why, can't really explain it.
― Ivor, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 23:18 (2 years ago) Permalink
Can anyone give me a starting point (and maybe a bit of background for her deification) for Kalthoum? I'm sure there's plenty of stuff already in the thread, but hey I'm lay-Z.
― Honeydew, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 23:35 (2 years ago) Permalink
Here's a starting point:
The Oum Kalthoum thread:
Oum Kalthoum, Om Kolthom, Om Kalsoum, Omm Kalsoum, Omme Kolsoum, Oom Koolsum, Oum Kalthoum, Oum Kalthum, Oum Kalsoum, Oum Kaltsoum, Oum Kolthoum, Oum Koulsoum, Oum Kulthum, Oum Kulthume, Um Kalthoum,
My favorite CD to recommend as an introduction is Robaeyat El Khayam, but I've yet to have anyone I recommend it to return as a grateful new convert.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 23:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
As for her deification, a lot of it has to do with her having an incredibly powerful and expressive voice, and her great facility in improvisation. I don't think I've just been brain-washed, she really towers over just about all the competition. She is the embodiment of a certain form of Arab musical ideal, I think. (She also, of course, got to work with the best composers and musicians.)
For discussion of the overall picture, Virginia Louise Danielson's book on Oum Kalthoum is worth checking out (or if that's too much, try one of the shorter articles of hers that will turn up online).
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 23:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 23:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
Thanks for that. I think the main reason I've not been struck by her is that I have no great love of the human voice compared to other instruments.
― Honeydew, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 00:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
In that case you might be more interested in her later recordings, which tended to have lengthy instrumental sections. Still, the focus of the overall work is going to be on the vocals.
Also, you might want to consider Ana Fe Entezarak (lots of possible spellings as with everything else) because of the amount of interplay with the accompaniment. I wouldn't go as far as saying that they are equally in the foreground as her vocals, but there's a lot of instrumental work in that recording that stands out.
Or you might want to go for instrumental recordings of her songs, to at least get a sense of the material. The best instrumental versions I've heard are by her violinist Ahmed el Hifnawi. This CD in particular:
Or you might want to not bother if you aren't big on vocalists.
Also, I won't to go back and say it's not just her improvisatory skill but her mastery in general of phrasing, ornamentation, etc.
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 01:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
Wait, you are Rockist Scientist? Or do you both just have very similar tastes/posting styles?
― it's only because they live in NYC that it's happening (admrl), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 01:29 (2 years ago) Permalink
Hahaha. Yes, this is the new Rockist Scientist screen name. I think it's probably permanent.
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 01:31 (2 years ago) Permalink
Oh lots of things make sense now. Did you move from Chicago to New Mexico then? that's interesting.
― invahid (admrl), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 01:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
I moved to New Mexico, but I've never even been to Chicago. (It was Philadelphia.)
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 01:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
Incidentally, I even made a note in my profile about my name change this time, so this was all very above board.
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 01:36 (2 years ago) Permalink
George Wassouf is a difficult subject for me. He was one of the first Arab singers I clicked with in a big way, but I tended to already not like his newer music as much as his older music when I was just getting started listening. Then I got a clearer idea of what a technically good singer is in this context, and maybe partly because of that I drifted further away. I have to admit I was influenced by various Arabs I discussed these things with online. People (muso people anyway) who know about this music seem to really hate him. Yet he's obviously a superstar of some sort. I think I've come back around to enjoying some of his work without qualms. Having said all that though, his voice is really shot at this point.
Ivor, are you an expat from somewhere else, living in Lebanon?
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 02:05 (2 years ago) Permalink
Wait, you are in Africa now, according to your profile, not Lebanon.
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 02:06 (2 years ago) Permalink
Re: Georges Wassouf and popularity. He is mega-popular in the Levant and the Gulf but so are a lot of other bad Arab pop stars like Nancy or Haifa.
You mentioned that his voice is shot, which I totally agree and is also one of the reasons I am digging on the song I posted earlier tonight, Allah Kareem. It's almost the epitome of his style, the over-produced clubby backing track with him drunkenly moaning in the foreground. I love how the backing chorus is totally on-point and then Georges just stumbles on top and crowds them out. Kinda hilarious.
Also, I think a good start for Umm Kulthum is Anta Omri. (ام كلثوم - انت عمري). Clips can be found on youtube but I seriously recommend the 60 minute version that is easy to find on cd. It's a good demonstration of her vocal talent, power, and interplay with the chorus and backing musicians. Also, I'm spelling out everything in Arabic for youtube searching because arabic romanization varies from writer to writer.
Rudipherous: I've only spent a few weeks in Lebanon but have lived for years in the region in various places so am familiar with a bunch of styles found in the Arab world though not as familiar as I should be, sadly. I need to change my profile now, though, as I'm currently in DC.
― Ivor, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 04:12 (2 years ago) Permalink
Also, I'm spelling out everything in Arabic for youtube searching because arabic romanization varies from writer to writer.
Good idea. I've learned to try out the Arabic labels in youtube searches, once I've found an artist I want to hear.
I've said before, but I prefer the studio version of Inta Omri, which is inexplicably difficult to find on CD. I don't think it's a piece that really demonstrates what she's about as a singer. It seems more about Abdel Wahab, than Oum Kalthoum.
I can see your point about the GW song in the abstract, but it doesn't change my level of enjoyment any. The GW I got into initially was mostly live recordings, many of them early.
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'm not saying I like this (it pretty much runs against my taste on every level), but I'm drawn to it, or at least the album cover (seen on the related videos on the right):
Pretty much "mook house" with standard current Arab pop vocals overtop.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 8 August 2010 02:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
this song has been my jam:
the original blog post where i read about dina alieva calls it "MUSLIM TRANCE," but she's from chechnya, so i guess that's eastern european not arabic? here's where i discovered the track:
i need more stuff like this!
― akaky akakievich, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:30 (2 years ago) Permalink
Thanks for posting that. I don't know anything about Chechen music, but I definitely hear a continuity with Arabic/Turkish music in the rhythms. Maybe not so much in the melody or the pitch and timbre of the vocals? I can't tell the age of the singer, but to me she has the voice of a girl, but maybe that's just the vocal convention?
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 21:27 (2 years ago) Permalink
Her religious sincerity and fashion prowess are a cancerous combination. Those pants? …Are basically the future.
I have to agree her outfits look great.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 21:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'm not really into the song overall, but it's okay.
― _Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 21:30 (2 years ago) Permalink
There are some incredible Asmahan photos on this flickr account that I've never seen before:
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 5 September 2010 04:56 (2 years ago) Permalink
Hi Rudipherous (and everybody else not posting on this thread) do you know this artist at all:
Recent late night listening for me. Seems to be a mix of live & studio stuff, possibly Assyrian artist but google is not helping. Any ideas??
― kumar the bavarian, Sunday, 12 September 2010 05:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
Abdel Halim Hafez. Egyptian.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 05:47 (2 years ago) Permalink
I think that's Abdel Halim Hafez anyway! Youngish Abdel Halim Hafez?
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 05:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
I thought I had seen that photo before, but then I was like wait maybe not.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 05:49 (2 years ago) Permalink
Some of his videos are linked to on this thread. Of course, you could just go to youtube, but there's a little discussion of him here too.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 05:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
Thanks man! Knew I could count on ya. Thought might be Assyrian cause guy I got the tape off was. I have two tapes with that photo on the front cover, one seems to be totally live and the other is a mixture and has a bunch of talking jive with the audience (who clearly worship him).So did he arrange all his own stuff? Some of the tracks on these trapes are pretty out there...
― kumar the bavarian, Sunday, 12 September 2010 09:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
― kumar the bavarian, Sunday, 12 September 2010 09:56 (2 years ago) Permalink
I don't think he arranged his own songs. A lot of his songs were written by Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Baligh Hamdi, both very prolific. Some of the music does get pretty crazy. This is a song about a man going to a fortune teller and being told that he has the saddest fortune the fortune teller has ever seen, etc.
FWIW, this is one of Robert Plant's favorite singers. This of course is also the singer of the Baligh Hamdi song ripped off by Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin."
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 18:22 (2 years ago) Permalink
Apologies for repeating the/my usual talking points.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 18:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
Oh wait, I forgot to cut that description. I changed my mind about what to post since I couldn't find the instrumental intro to "Kariat Al Fengan," the song I was describing there. Man, I always screw these threads up.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 18:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
Haha it's fine... yeah the Jay Z was the first thing that came up when I googled... I need to go through youtube and try and identify the tracks I have so I can start from there. Off to watch that vid you posted first... thanks again!
― kumar the bavarian, Sunday, 12 September 2010 20:14 (2 years ago) Permalink
I keep forgetting there's already a separate thread for this singer:
Abdel Halim Hafez: S/D & so on
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 13 September 2010 03:19 (2 years ago) Permalink
I was just checking the latest releases on maqam.com and I'm seeing more new khaleeji, more new debka compilations, and more shaabi than usual (well, some sort of multi-volume/various artist compilation, which seems a bit unusual to me). I wonder if mainstream Egyptian pop is losing some of its dominance.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 26 November 2010 02:47 (2 years ago) Permalink
The two-volume Rashed Al Majed release, in particular, is one I'm likely to get.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 26 November 2010 02:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
arabic music is the most beautifull don't u think?
― תהייה נשמת ההרוגים באסון הצפון צרורה בצרור (ڈک تپپڑ فوج), Wednesday, 22 December 2010 17:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
a modern-sounding take on classic Persian pop which features some deliciously undulating background vocals bathed in reverb. If it sounds ever so slightly too robotic in the contemporary Auto-Tune style, it’s still fairly intoxicating stuff.
SWM09.31 - THE BEHISTUN TRANSMISSION @1:40
(merry christmas to homeland security)
― meisenfek, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 22:49 (2 years ago) Permalink
I don't know if I've posted this before, but the percussion is incredible and Samira Toufic really goes out there, imo:
― _Rudipherous_, Thursday, 23 December 2010 03:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
She deserves a freakin' box set more than a lot of people who have them.
― _Rudipherous_, Thursday, 23 December 2010 03:13 (2 years ago) Permalink
this is wonderfull,,,
― תהייה נשמת ההרוגים באסון הצפון צרורה בצרור (ڈک تپپڑ فوج), Thursday, 23 December 2010 04:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
Maqam.com now offers a free streaming radio site!
Some ultra-slick, but I like it, belly dance music from Setrak playing right now.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 2 January 2011 00:00 (2 years ago) Permalink
Not into Fadl Shaker though. Still, if I were in a more receptive mood, just leaving this stream might be a good way to expose myself to more recent music (like this).
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 2 January 2011 00:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
But as I'm not in the mood, I am turning this off. Bye bye Marwan Khoury.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 2 January 2011 00:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
Marcel Khalife and Oumayma Al-Khalil performing a song from At the Border. She's really spectacular. I'm not sure why she hasn't recorded more.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 30 January 2011 01:32 (2 years ago) Permalink
& not in a flashy way but in a chills-producing way.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 30 January 2011 01:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
This Sabah Fakhri song I'm listening to would be so much better without the droney choral accompaniment. Why do they do that?!
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 11 February 2011 05:47 (2 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 12 February 2011 05:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 12 February 2011 05:19 (2 years ago) Permalink
Perhaps the most popular song of the Egyptian revolution is by Mohamed Mounir, a singer so revered, he's known as "The Voice of Egypt."
The song is called "Ezzay," which means "How come
I like this one and the video
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 12 February 2011 15:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
The youtube video's on that npr link
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 12 February 2011 15:02 (2 years ago) Permalink
And I like it
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 13 February 2011 00:26 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'm really enjoying the two albums by Al-Yaman, a Prague band fronted by Yemeni expat Ashwaq Abdulla Kulaib. Discovered them via an "Electric Arabia" user list on emusic, and they really hit the spot occupied by Natacha Atlas (or her collaborations with Transglobal Underground, who are pals of Al-Yaman) of Arabic folk dressed up with a electronic gloss. Authenticity fetishists probably need not apply.
Al-Yaman - HurriyaAl-Yaman - Saraab
― Competent Person Statement (Sanpaku), Monday, 7 March 2011 00:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
I guess this will fit the image of "authenticity fetishist," but it makes me said when people do Arab music with the Arab rhythms replaced by something else, when there are such amazing Arab rhythms to work with.
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 7 March 2011 04:27 (2 years ago) Permalink
DJ Rupture in Morocco talking about music he saw and bought and listened to on the radio
― curmudgeon, Friday, 25 March 2011 06:20 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'm increasingly sick of the chaabi infatuation with mind-swirling synth trumpets and strings, it's fun for a little while and then just becomes indistinct. Of course these songs aren't really intended for youtube or stereo listening.
Recently I haven't been able to get the song Crossroads مفترق الطرق, as performed by Majida al-Roumi, out of my head.
― Ivor, Friday, 25 March 2011 14:40 (2 years ago) Permalink
For the most part I've never been able to get into Majida al-Roumi.
I have yet to get any response to this, so I'm posting it again, because I think it's some premium stuff:
― degrading the enemy narrative (_Rudipherous_), Friday, 25 March 2011 17:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Monday, 4 April 2011 03:13 (2 years ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Friday, 24 June 2011 20:04 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks, that last track has some freshness to it (I like the backing vocals in particular), to my ears anyway. I don't keep up with North Africa. Also, that accompanying photo is great. Most of the vinyl on the look looks to be Warda albums.
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 25 June 2011 16:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
I am expecting changes in the popular music in the Arab world proper in the next decade. Something has to shift with so much social and political upheaval, I think, especially since Egypt is part of that political change (since Egypt tends to set musical trends for the Arab world in general).
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 25 June 2011 16:26 (1 year ago) Permalink
The Afropop Worldwide website and podcast folks (writer Banning Eyre and others) are heading off to Egypt shortly to research and do a focus on Egyptian sounds. While his background is more in Malian and other African countries that are not quite North African, hopefully they will prepare some interesting coverage
― curmudgeon, Monday, 27 June 2011 13:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
The NY Times and this Seattle paper (see below) love the new ECM label album Arco Irisfrom Moroccan vocalist Amina Alaoui who performs old Andalusian compositions here. I haven't heard it but I am intrigued. Ilxer Sanpaku liked the Jon Balke & Amina Alaoui album Siwan that came out on ECM a year or 2 back.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 6 July 2011 14:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
I see from her world music central dot org bio that she is a prominent exponent of the ancient music style gharnati and has worked with musicians from medieval, Persian, and flamenco musical backgrounds. Gharnati (Arabic for Granada), the bio says, is one of the major Andalusian musical styles, migrated from Granada, Spain, to Morocco in the 15th century.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 6 July 2011 14:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
Still need to listen to her.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 7 July 2011 19:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
Briefly listened to Amina Alaoui. Wow, what a voice. Interestingly, it kind of reminds me in its somber voice-only mode on the first cut of some Jewish cantors and vocalists I have heard over the years. Other songs feature oud and flamenco guitar and more. Woefully few reviews online of the album so far.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 12 July 2011 15:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
I wonder if Rudiph likes her or would if he heard her?
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 12 July 2011 16:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
Met a guy who plays in some Arabic orchestra in NYC. May try to go to free show in Damrosch Park.
― Twenty Flight Rickroll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 12 July 2011 16:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
Some of the Amina Alaoui album is a little too samey--melancholy nearly fado-like vocals and minimalist flamenco guitar strumming, but on other cuts her voice is exquisite and the instrumental work just lively enough.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 14 July 2011 13:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
I see that Banning Eyre liked Amina Alaoui on NPR
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 16 July 2011 13:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
Someone e-mailed me the below but I can't find anything on youtube or elsewhere about the performers-
Flamenco Compas, brother and sister dancers from the Salman family of Damascus,Syria
will be performing at :
the Black Fox Lounge, downstairs, 1723 Conn Ave nw, just north of Dupont Circle.
Wednesday July 20 th 9pmAlso on stage are Torcuato Zamora on guitar, Joe Darensbosurg singing and Steve Bloom on cajon! Dancer Audrey Elizabeth joins in Zambra.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Sunday, 24 July 2011 19:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
Not the sort of thing I had in mind when starting this thread, but this is pretty good:
Decent vocals for "alternative rock."
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 31 July 2011 15:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
That's how I see them described anyway.
More rocking, not so slow-paced:
I do get the sense from what little I've read (which is mostly Wikipedia and youtube comments) that the interest here mostly revolves around the lyrics.
― _Rudipherous_, Sunday, 31 July 2011 15:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
Show this show back in June. Just saw this youtube video and thought it might be up your street, _Rudipherous_:
― Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 9 August 2011 17:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm still liking the 2011 Amina Alaoui album even if sometimes she sound like she's in need of anti-depressants
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 10 August 2011 14:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
This is not bad. The synth squiggles seem very Arabic to me, playing off much more mainstream sorts of Arabic music, but maybe from a while back. This is kind of trip-hoppy, if you're wondering whether or not to click on it:
― Cal Jeddah (_Rudipherous_), Wednesday, 26 October 2011 05:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
The multi-volume Best of Oldies series on Spotify is recommended. The emphasis is on khaleeji, with occasional surprises from outside the Gulf.
― John Gaw Meme (_Rudipherous_), Saturday, 21 January 2012 17:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
Search (on Spotify): Hanan - Rayka
one of my favorite new sound (or as I used to call it "clap clap") songs. Now quite dated sounding, of course, though new sound was born a bit dated sounding. I particularly like the false start. The opening sounds like a very cheap attempt at a Philly Sound soul hit from the 70s.
I could make a playlist, but listening is too unfocused and unvaried to work on something like that these days.
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 10 March 2012 20:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
I always imagine a video for some of these songs with little clapping hand-puppet "Arabs."
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 10 March 2012 20:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 2 June 2012 20:09 (11 months ago) Permalink
I don't know if I've linked to this one before, but this is great. However, this is from around the same era as another song I am still hoping to find, with spring-time electric guitar.
― _Rudipherous_, Friday, 15 June 2012 22:40 (11 months ago) Permalink
Nice voice and nicely mixed instrumentation. The dancing is so folky. So she's Lebanese but first had success in Jordan, if the bio I read is correct.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 15 June 2012 23:03 (11 months ago) Permalink
I have not listened to these NPR news reports or the mix of Arabic and Western (but heard there) songs on the playlist
― curmudgeon, Friday, 15 June 2012 23:06 (11 months ago) Permalink
I suggested that perhaps Umm Kathoum was the Bruce Springsteen of classic Egyptian music. This proposal was neither accepted nor rejected.
Bruce Springsteen? Way to insult the woman. (From that NPR link.) Bruce Springsteen?
I was sitting in a library Friday, attempting to rip cassettes to music CDRs. I only came away with one, unfortunately, so I'll have to try to figure out what is causing things not to take. However, sitting there listening to some of my favorite music with head phones, I was often swept away. Isn't ecstasy what I most want from music, most of the time?
It seems "my music" (as in my favorite music, the music that matters to me most) is scattered around the world like fragments of the divine in a Kabbalistic universe.
What thou lovest well remains, the rest is dross.
― _Rudipherous_, Monday, 24 December 2012 17:27 (4 months ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 25 April 2013 13:49 (3 weeks ago) Permalink