Arabic music (not elsewhere classified)

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I've been seeing a lot of interesting-looking new, or at least somewhat recent, Arabic CDs, generally either of a folkloric, religious or classical nature. (Not always easy to completely separate these categories.) I don't know if I'm imagining it, but there seems to be more of this stuff around in the past couple years. Sufi music from Egypt and Syria, instead of the more common Pakistan or North Africa. I've largely given up on current Arabic pop music, but there's still a fair amount of music around that is being produced for a more specialized audience.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It's not necessarily the definite article, but check out Jaz Coleman & Anne Dudley's Songs from the Victorious City.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 00:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Alex, I think I have that on cassette somewhere, but haven't heard it for a long time. (I'm paranoid about playing any cassettes these days, since my tape player was starting to eat them at one point.) It was kind of gratifying seeing someone from the west going on about how great it was to work with Arab musicians. But since you mentioned it, I will put it on some time soon. I don't think I new him by name when someone loaned me that album, but at one point he mentioned that he had played with Killing Joke, which I admit was a little bit of a surprise. (Though why should I be surprised given Jah Wobble's Arabophilia?)

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 00:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Incidentally, you might like some of the rhythms in Iraqi music which have a kind of heavy martial sound to them (even though they accompany regular old love songs). Actually the rhythms at the beginning of this particular clip (the second one) sound a lot like some things I've heard in Algerian Berber music. (Thanks for visiting my thread.)

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 00:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm seeing some folkloric stuff from Libya now on I hardly ever see much of anything out of Libya and don't know what their music sounds like, but this looks interesting.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 15:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Weren't Nasa from Yemen? Their sort've quasi-Duran metal had flourishes of Arabic music,.....however watered down. Ofra Haza sang a bit on their album (which also featured cameos from Les Warner of the Cult and Raven from ....WAIT FOR IT....Killing Joke.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 15:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

who is it? is it the VA # Cd set or something else?

H (Heruy), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 15:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I was talking to an Egyptian friend of mine (studying here in the US) about music--I really enjoyed Mohammed Abd el Wahab, but didn't know too much else arabic music. He pointed me to, which is where he listened to a lot of music. I'm not sure how legit the site is, but with a free registration there's a ton of stuff to listen to.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Alex, I can't help you, since I don't know that band.

arch Ibog, I think 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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

sorry, that was directed at you RS and i was referring to the one at the top of the new releases page, though there was a second comp up htere as well.

H (Heruy), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

This is the thread for discussing Arabic music I haven't started other threads about, with special emphasis on Killing Joke collaborators.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

RS do you have an Iranian music to recommend me? I live right by a Iranian market which has shelves upon shelves of CDs and cassettes. Most of it looks of fairly recent vintage.

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(Yes, I am aware that Iran is not an Arabic country.)

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 19:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

amateurist, I know very little about Iranian music. The classical singer Mohammed Reza Shahjarian is great, and even though I have only heard two of his albums, I suspect you'd be okay buying anything, especially if someone there recommends it.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Lots of the stuff I've been seeing is from Institut du Monde Arabe.

Al Andalous, Saturday, 19 July 2003 19:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Al Rockist -- I also want to ask you a question. A(nother) Oum Kalsoum question, actually: the album Les Grandes Compositeurs Vol 3, would that be a good one to get?
(AllMusicGuide, e.g., doesn't even mention this Vol 3; but as it happens, it's the only Kalsoum I could order from a record shop in my hometown)

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?

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Saturday, 19 July 2003 20:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

This seems to be a UK distributor. They have some titles I've mentioned before. I don't think a compilation is the way to go for an introduction to Oum Kalthoum.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think has a couple different entries for her under different spellings.

Al Andalous, Saturday, 19 July 2003 20:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Okeh, I'll check the different spellings thingy too. Thanks.

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Saturday, 19 July 2003 20:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Of the stuff this distributor carries, I would most recommend ROBAEYAT EL KHAYAM.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I beseech you, in the name of all that is consuemrist and music-obsessive, go to this page and listen to the "Ya Msaharni" sample from George Wassouf Sings Om Kolthoum 4. This is one of my favorite psychedelic sounding Arabic pop songs (this particular recording, not the original, which sounds quite a bit different).

Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 18:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The song is by Sayed Mekawi who is a totally great song-writer or composer or whatever.

Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 18:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, Wassouf mostly sucks, but his backing band or orchestra at various times has done some nice things, and I think occasionally his drug use has artificially allowed him to get to some interesting places with his singing.

The remix sounds really awful.

Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 19:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

arch Ibog, has expanded considerably since I last visisted, but it looks like it's just a pay-for-download thing, or am I not looking closely enough?

Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 19:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

uh, RS, if I went to the right link I am unsure why this is something that inspires beseeching....explain please.

H (Heruy), Saturday, 26 July 2003 20:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Really? I think it's great. Now you'll know not to trust me. I think the melody sounds really trippy played on that electric organ, and the rhythms and the slow pace draw me in. (You did listen to the "Ya Msaharni" sample?) What can I tell you?

Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 21:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It sounds like a very strung out after hours party in a circus tent.

Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 21:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i'll listen again (btw check yr mail, i just sent you a msg)

H (Heruy), Saturday, 26 July 2003 21:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Wait! There's a copy of the entire song further down the page, under the slightly different transliteration: "Ya Misaharni". (From "Live volume 3" or something like that.) Try that one. It will at least give you a more complete sense of the shape of the song.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I find it very evocative of a canabis high.

Al Andalous, Saturday, 26 July 2003 22:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
The Beginner's Guide to Arabia listed on this page looks like a good overview. I don't know what individual songs are on it, but it definitely has a mix of older and newer popular styles.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 11 December 2003 02:17 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I see it's on Nascente. They put out good compilations, in general.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 11 December 2003 02:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Khaled to thread!

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 11 December 2003 03:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I found a track listing, but I still don't really know what's on it. (I hope they didn't pick an Oum Kalthoum song from before the late 30's, but they probably did, since that's where most of the short ones can be found.) Most of it will probably be junk, but it is a broad overview, and some of what I now consider junk helped me get into what I now consider classic.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Track listing for Beginner's Guide to Arabia:

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I just had to come back and say that "Hebeena Hebeena" is great, after listening to it last night. Yes, there are shlocky elements to it, and it might have been better to find some Farid without any shlock, but it's pretty charming shlock (especially the electric organ). It's mostly an upbeat tune, but with an interlude when he goes into what is more or less a vocal solo, so it gives a taste of that kind of stretched out performance, where the rhythm becomes extremely loose.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 11 December 2003 17:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hey Rockist, slightly off topic but did you go see Hassan Hakmoun the other night?

H (Heruy), Friday, 12 December 2003 08:57 (fourteen 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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, Haale was opening for him, she's actually supposed to be really good. He was playing a full on gnawa set (no fusion) on Thursday in NYC but figgered you would not be able to make that.

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I was stupid not to plan my time better. I don't know, sometimes I just get in these moods when I don't want to go out and do the things I want to do. ?

Rockist Scientist, Saturday, 13 December 2003 20:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

A couple new releases that look good: another Ahmad Adawaia best of, and a Marcel Khalife CD that, judging by the couple clips I've listened to so far, actually seems to successfully blend jazz elements with Lebanese music. I'm surprised since I haven't really liked any recordngs he's made since the 80's (although I didn't hear anything by him until around 1993). Also lots of DVDs of Arabic movies. (Maybe some day.)

New releases

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Thursday, 25 December 2003 01:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Bought the Khalife. I'll indulgently repeat what I said on the "Last x" thread:

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
These two new CDs of music from Yemen look good to me. (Brief audio samples available.)

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Sunday, 29 February 2004 21:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Earlier I dug out a Faiza Ahmed tape that I used to think was terrible but hadn't heard in a while. I recently ordered a Faiza Ahmed CD after hearing some stuff by her that I liked online (including clips from the CD). It turns out that this tape is a copy of the same album I just ordered on CD. I think I know why I didn't like it before (too much of the heavy violin section cliches and at times an annoying chorus), but the songs themselves are pretty good and Ahmed's singing is good as well.

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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I think it works really well. Very authentic Arabic sound [the likes of Hossam Ramzy add a bit of authentism/cred], successfully fused with Dudley's Below-the-Waste-period 'percussion' loops, or whatever she calls them.

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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oh, this Milhem Barkat tape has some fantastic songs on it. There is so much going on rhythmically in this music (Lebanese party tunes, you could say) and it's still pretty much under our radar in the west. And this sort of thing hardly seems to turn up on CD.


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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah [Dudley/Coleman]. It could have been a lot better, but I still enjoy it for what it is. The overuse of strings and predictably bland percussion are both indicative of Dudley at that period.

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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't know, I just know his name is on it.

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Sunday, 23 May 2004 23:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Bored at work, I find myself reading Robert Christgau's reviews online. I missed this CD. "I'm impressed by how modest virtuosity can be in a classical tradition that honors simplicity." Very nicely put. Actually, I like the whole review:

Iraqi Music in a Time of War

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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Okay, finally bought some Nazem al-Ghazali: Best of, Vol.1. His mawawal (that relatively meter-free improvisation often used as the introduction to a song) is (are?) amazing.

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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Omar Bashir and Sahar Taha's Baghdadiyat is good. My favorite part is probably the drumming on some of the songs (including the first). There are some solo oud passages, which I like in the context of the overall album, but which I think I'd find tedious by themselves. (This is Munir Bashir's son, and he plays in a "rarified" style much like his father's, at least when he is playing solo.) I think these would be considered folk songs, but they are being given an Iraqi muso treatment--but it works!

Rockist Scientist, Monday, 7 June 2004 18:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
There's finally a review of Khalife's Caress in Global Rhythm (which I don't consider an especially good magazine or anything). It's positive, but oddly it makes absolutely no mention of the fact that about half of the tracks are jazz-tinged and that he's working with a jazz bassist on this. I think that's one of the most important points to make about the CD.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 23 June 2004 19:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Institut du Monde Arabe has recently released some promising looking material:

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 Kuwait
Ensemble Muhammad Faris: The Sawt of Bahrain
Various: Treasures of Algerian Music [2 CDs worth of older, archival, material.]

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 30 July 2004 23:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
I should like this: Mohammed El Ouzabi & Mohamed Kheyri: Nights of Tarab, judging by the audio clip. (I'm not familiar with either of these singers though.)

Mohamed Ali Ensemble: Al Hawanem also looks good.

(These are listed on the new releases section at

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 17 August 2004 13:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
I'm listening to that Gulf music mix cassette with the high pitched squeal running through it (there on the copy I copied from). I really love just about everything on here, but I don't know who any of it is (with one anomalous non-Gulf artist exception). Particularly great here is the use of clapping (probably using some sort of drum machine, but I still like it) and some of the oud (or other stringed instrument) licks. But I like the singing too, and the melodies are pretty accessible.

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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I hate this: Oh man, this tape is so good.
--Can you make a copy?
--No, and even if I could it would sound horrible.
--Well, who is it?
--I don't know. But it's really good.

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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I stumbled across Arabic music videos for the first time since buying my TV, and they are really really bad. They seem, if anything, more western than they did when I saw videos about a decade ago. I keep anxiously waiting for the anti-western aesthetic backlash, but it does not come.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 21:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
This is probably the most amazing Arabic music site around. I had come across its pages for some particular artists, but there are also a huge number of unfamiliar names. You have to click on "West" "East" etc. to get to the links for particular artists.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 7 October 2004 19:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Kind of what Radio Casablanca used to be (when its links worked), but even more so.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 7 October 2004 19:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

without combing through all the previous posts (sorry) i'd also recommend anything on Subliminal Frequencies...

ken taylrr (ken taylrr), Thursday, 7 October 2004 19:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've heard bad things about those recordings (the Arabic/N. African ones anyway) from someone whose opinion I trust, but I haven't heard them, and since they are so popular on ILM, I might check them out simply so that I can complain.

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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...
I think I'm going to be investigating Khaleeji music from the Gulf more in the future. I've heard a lot that I like, but it hasn't been as easy to find out about. However, after buying The Sawt of Kuwait, it makes me want more things along these lines (maybe from the poppier end).

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Saturday, 6 November 2004 15:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Also, I might get this: Zein al Jundi/Hossam Ramsy: Traditional Songs from Syria. Her voice doesn't seem all that special to me, but I like this type of Syrian folkloric song and recognize some of these songs, and apparently she had an early career as a child singer in Syria.

RS, Saturday, 6 November 2004 16:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
Sahrat Ataba Mijana - Various Artists. This is mostly good material, heavy on rhythm. I think this is all Lebanese or Syrian, or a mixture of both. "Ataba We Dalouna" features a female vocalist (Selvi Mata) singing in a style I think I've only previously heard male singers perform. It's a rugged folkloric sort of sound, with a great smooth chorus, plus Egyptian New Sound programmed "clap clap" rhythm, alongside acoustic percussion, and a sinewy reed instrument. Good ants-on-a-red-hot-surface doumbek drumming featured throughout (on more than one song). "Ya Taer El Tayer," a song I recognize from a George Wassouf version, alternates between short passages with a very driving rhythm and open-ended, non-metrical, (mostly vocal) improvisations. The more structured part of the song is quite catchy, like so much of this Lebanese/Syrian folkloric stuff that I hardly have at all on CD. (I hate to even say "folkloric" in this conext, because I think this music really is still alive and used for weddings, parties, etc.)

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And Abu Ammar is almost always there- come rain or sun or war, sitting in the midst of his vegetables and fruits, going through a newspaper, a cigarette in his mouth and crackling out of his little transistor radio are the warm tones of Fayrouz. (from Baghdad Burning blog). This is interesting, since Fairouz is Lebanese of course, not that it's really news that her popularity goes beyond Lebanon, but the style of her music is certainly very different from typical Iraqi music. I would think that listening to her music would be a way of marking oneself off as cosmopolitan.

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Friday, 18 February 2005 12:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Sounds interesting, RS. I just want to say here also that the Rachid Taha album Tekitoi? is still sounding awesome after two months with it, truly spirited rockstuff!

The Obligatory Sourpuss (Begs2Differ), Friday, 18 February 2005 14:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I went to the Village Voice site and out of the corner of my eye I saw something that looked like Hebrew or Arabic in a banner ad--Rashid Sales!

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 24 February 2005 12:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I like the way it looks too. (I'm surprised, consdering how screwed up the Rashid web-site is.)

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 24 February 2005 12:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

RS, did you read the interview with this bolshie Palestinian oud player in Ha'aretz yesterday?

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 24 February 2005 13:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

No, I will check that out.

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 24 February 2005 13:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
This sounds good, judging from the samples: Yousef Shamoun: Taneh wu Raneh. I don't have any prior knowledge of this singer, but his voice and singing sound very solid to me, and I like this style of music, for the most part.

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 31 March 2005 23:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Does anybody ever listen to this sh*t I link to?

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 31 March 2005 23:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

This kanunist sounds really good also:

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Various Artists: Dandna (EMI873654) appears to be a collection of music from the Gulf (maybe just Kuwait?). Very poppy production, but I think I might end up liking it (if I get it).

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Saturday, 2 April 2005 23:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Farid el Atrache is really great. I made a little mix for myself, and it's just like butter in my ears.

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 01:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Actually a mix to give some of you eventually too.)

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 01:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

great. my ears need some butter.
have you heard sabah fakhri? try and get a live disc. wonderful stuff.

m0stly clean (m0stly clean), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 03:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I have a few Sabah Fakhri cassettes. I find his style is mostly a little harsh (though no disrespect to Sabah Fakhri). My favorite of the bunch is "Au Theatre des Amandiers" Vol. 2, which doesn't seem to be available on CD. If you like him, you might want to try Shadi Jameel who works in the same genre. (I'm not sure what the name is, but it's some sort of 19th century Syrian classical music! Possibly a 19th century revival/reimagining of Andalusian styles.)

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 11:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

For the record: I bought Yousef Shamoun's Taneh wu Raneh and Abraham Salman's Saltana, both very good in different ways. The Shamoun has more of a shlock element in it, so I couldn't loan it to certain people. I think Shamoun is a good singer, and the rhythms are mostly great, deep, rhythms. The Salman CD is more classically oriented.

RS, Thursday, 14 April 2005 02:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

From D.J. Rupture(Jace Clayton's excellent blog):

"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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Marcel Khalife's jazzy piano-playing son is coming to the Kennedy Center, and Hassan Hakmoun and others will be out at the new Strathmore Theatre in Rockville, MD outside DC in May. I'd like to see the latter show.

steve-k, Friday, 22 April 2005 13:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Iranian singer Shahrokh is coming to the 1,800 seat Lisner Aud. in DC. Haven't heard him yet, but the desciption on his website makes him seem pretty schlocky and bombastic.

steve-k, Friday, 22 April 2005 20:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Skaba" is an amazingly great song.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 26 April 2005 10:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

There's some promising looking new Gulf music recordings (I want to say "Gulfen") percolating up lately: Rashed el Majed, on the new releases page (for now):

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Friday, 29 April 2005 02:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

um. shahrokh is GREAT. ok he's not all-time classic like googoosh or something but he's good enough, if mildly undistinguished for a pop star.

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

schlocky = well, it's definitely pop. and persian culture is certainly slanted towards the nostalgic.

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i guess my point is = nothing particularly schlocky or bombastic about this particular guy, against the larger backdrop of iranian pop.

vahid (vahid), Friday, 29 April 2005 03:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Is that from the 70s (Ghoroob)?

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Friday, 29 April 2005 03:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Shahrokh just seems to have, well that same melodramatic feel that Celine Dion and various Europoppers have, and I'm not crazy about that no matter what culture it is from.

steve-k, Friday, 29 April 2005 12:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

His singing sounds good to me (judging by these clips). There are other things about the music I don't especially like, but his voice and singing seem like strong points.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Friday, 29 April 2005 12:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think I may have enough Cairo style popular music from the 40s and 50s (and especially the 60s and 70s) for now. The later songs, and especially the last song (which is pretty long), on this Laure Daccache CD are good enough, but I think I've had enough of this sort of thing for a while. It's kind of dreary too, at times.

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Abraham. I don't know how that extra a got in there.)

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Monday, 2 May 2005 22:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hey, try these (raw, sometimes really bad from the sounds of it, but also some good stuff, and most of you will probably like what I think is bad stuff better anyway, and I don't know why it's taken me so long to get back to this bookmarked page):!

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 12:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(You can always tell when I'm awake.)

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 12:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh, sorry about the DJ patter. Also, this is middle eastern in general, not just Arabic.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 12:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(Ugh sorry most modern Arabic pop really is crap.)

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 12:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

can i suggest holly valance's dance cover of tarkan's " kiss , kiss"

volly halance, Sunday, 8 May 2005 13:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I really need to splurge and get high-speed internet at home. It takes me forever to check out songs listed or linked above.

Steve K (Steve K), Sunday, 8 May 2005 15:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I like what I'm hearing on the samples here: DJ Cheb I Sabbah: La Kahena. (Also, because of his name I always assumed DJ Cheb I Sabbah was just some western wanker from London or Paris.)

RS (Catalino) LaRue (RSLaRue), Saturday, 11 June 2005 12:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

This sounds like it probably stomps all over a lot of the "Arabesque electronica" type things put out over here.

RS (Catalino) LaRue (RSLaRue), Saturday, 11 June 2005 12:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I bought this last week on a whim after hearing some of it on a listening post. It's fabulous. I had only been peripherally aware of Cheb i Sabbah before, and associated him with MidEval Punditz doing Indian electronica (which turns out to be right). But it turns out he has an interesting thang going on: High-quality recording of "local" artists, fairly minimal production overlay except for tabla and Bill Laswell bass, and some mixing/combining songs. And the fact that he is an Algerian/Berber Jew working with Muslim artists (some Arab, some tribal) and one Yemenite Jew, all women, in a variety of genres (from rai to devotional chants). Anyway, it hangs together really well, doesn't seem at all cheesy, and sounds great.

Vornado, Saturday, 11 June 2005 14:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
(World Music Network)

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

( is not actually on the album cover, and the album is music from Gulf states, not Lebanon, just to clear up any possible confusion.)

Yo soy Rockist Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 17 July 2005 12:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Good article in the NYT today:

July 27, 2005
An Iraqi-American Helps to Keep Soulful Music From Baghdad Alive

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
I checked out a clip from the new Hakim CD and I have to admit I like his singing. He reminds me of Ahamad Adaweia. I thought I had tried him before and found him wanting. In fact, I thought I had a tape of his sitting around here, but if I do it would probably be from at least ten years ago, so maybe his sound has hardened up a bit.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And could I just say: emotional response. It's not some arbitrary fucking purism. The old school singers I always mention take me places emotionally that the New Sound singers do not. It's not necessarily easy to talk about.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(I'm really just talking Egypt here.)

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

So Christgau is probably right (or "right" since we aren't talking about facts here) again re: Hakim.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I haven't heard a new Hakim, but I have the live album that Christgau jizzed over and I've heard other recent stuff. It's OK-ish, and I suspect his sound did harden up some, because I would not describe it as soft. But I don't listen to it much. Decent party music, but it falls a little short of being interesting or pretty.

Vornado, Thursday, 18 August 2005 11:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i never thought his voice was soft either, and that live CD deserved xgau's gushing as far as i'm concerned. (just posted a question about this on the p&j latin thread, so see there...)

xhuxk, Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(i mean, maybe his voice and sound were soft ONCE, i dunno. i've only heard a couple albums by him. i guess it's soft if you compare it to say, rachid taha. but then, so is opeth!) (he did do lots of swishy dance moves when i saw him live, though. they were really entertaining!)

xhuxk, Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I may have mixed him up with a Hashim. Is there a Hashim?

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Or Hisham. There's a Hisham Abbas.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The thing is, once I got sick of new sound, I mostly stopped paying close attention. (Also I haven't been back to talk to my Palestinian-American music informant for a long time.)

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

He hates most of the new stuff anyway though. He made me into an Arabic music rockist.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Apparently, Laure Daccache just died recently:

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-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
Aminti bi-l-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Nur jamalik ayah
aya mni-l-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
Aminti bi-l-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 12 October 2005 23:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
This isn't Arabic music, but I'm not sure where else to put it and don't see much point in starting a thread about Algerian or Berber music in general. I saw Houria Aichi in concert once and she was great. (I haven't previewed this video, since I just came across it at work.)

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Monday, 19 December 2005 16:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Algerian singer Souad Massi's latest cd Honeysuckle sounds more Algerian than her prior ones(which had heavy American folk singer/songwriter and French cafe influences). I like it.

curmudgeon steve (DC Steve), Saturday, 24 December 2005 05:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

More Arabic music in France:

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Algerian singer Souad Massi's latest cd Honeysuckle sounds more Algerian than her prior ones

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
This sounds like something I'd like, though I am not sure any of it is actually new material. (I recognize quite a few of the songs.)

Layali Nour

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Monday, 9 January 2006 23:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It sounds like a somewhat more populist/folkier version of some strand of Syrian classical music (which is closely related to their folk music anyway, I suppose).

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Monday, 9 January 2006 23:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink


Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 15 January 2006 01:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I probably already said this once on this thread, but Abdel Halim Hafez's cover of "Daret El Ayyam" is really great. I like it more than Oum Kalthoum's original recording, which drags on too much (like so many of her recordings of songs by Abdel Wahab). The (largely instrumental) introductory passages in the Oum Kalthoum version are better and entirely worth hearing, but overall, I'd rather hear the Abdel Halim rendition. It's funny how Abdel Halim sings "la le le la lilale" (or whatever) for part of the melody, like it's an old familiar song. His recording couldn't have been made long after the original Oum Kalthoum recording, because I don't think he lived very long after that recording. (But they do that sort of thing anyway, like America's crooners.)

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Abdel Halim version is also shorter, which helps, since it reduces the length of the draggy part. Short at 18:38. Even this version drags, but what can you do. Abdel Wahab was determined to squander his talent by including draggy waltz-like kitsch in almost all his late songs.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 15 January 2006 15:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I love to hear Abdel Halim Hafez speak, too. He speaks such classy sounding Arabic. I like the way someone in the audience goes "Allah Allah Allah Allah" at the end. (There may be an additional phrase at the end, but that's all I can make out.) This might be a bootleg. The sound is a little iffy.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Sunday, 15 January 2006 15:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Weird, I just bought a CD by this guy. ("Syrian Wayne Newton"?!)

Syrian music star sings praise of suicide bombers

By Audrey Hudson

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."--

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 4 March 2006 14:56 (eleven 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 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
' NO Touristik NO Exotic Militant Oriental Sounds & Deconstruct Films & Middle Eastern Audiovisual System ' ( Main Web ) ( Bio ) ( Photo) (remake exotic performance) ( Announce ) ( Rip It Festival )

Serhat Koksal (2/5BZ) will two mounth ( august and september 06 ) artist residency in Berlin/Podewil for Tesla Sound & Video Art project .


* ''...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 )
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 )
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 ),p3554.html
* Militant Oriental Peel Session II"
* oriental psyche breakz » TOOLBOX
2/5 BZ, Serhat Koksal
' .. Something you'll just love and dig for years and years ! Probably the best record since beginning of 2006 ! ENJOY !!!

* Dj Nexus ( Usa )
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

* * TOON'Z ( France )
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
* in Record Release Party in Peyote/ Istanbul in 6 th April.
* in 103 Club / 'Save This Date' Twen Fm Festival in Berlin 20 th april .
* in St Petersburg / Russia SKIF-10 Festival in 22th,24th April
* in St Petersburg / Russia Ges-21 in 24 th April

2/5 BZ February 2006 Performances & Released John 'Peel Session II' 12' EP from Gozel Records .,p3554.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.

berbat zoksal, Wednesday, 24 May 2006 06:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink


Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 14:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Asmahan, movie clip:

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 30 May 2007 12:38 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yousef Shamoun (excessively long intro.):

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 31 May 2007 03:29 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten years ago) Permalink

no: the earth was like a marble, and i was a giant on it

Surmounter, Friday, 1 June 2007 12:55 (ten 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 (ten 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 (ten years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

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 (ten years ago) Permalink

Here's something from Sudan

Heave Ho, Sunday, 11 November 2007 20:56 (ten 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 (ten years ago) Permalink

Oudists: S/D

Rockist Scientist, Monday, 12 November 2007 13:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

(I am awake.)

Rockist Scientist, Monday, 12 November 2007 13:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

Duh, I never thought to search for oudists. Cheers RS.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Monday, 12 November 2007 15:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Sexy Lebanese music site:

Rockist Scientist, Friday, 4 January 2008 23:56 (ten 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 (ten years ago) Permalink

If you're into Lebanese pop, by far my fave is Nancy Ajram:

baaderonixx, Saturday, 5 January 2008 10:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

Judeo-Arabic music

Dear All,

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 (nine years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

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

Mon. 2-23

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. 2-24
Al-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

Cie2k(Moroccan choreographer Khalid Benghrib's all male contemp.
Dance co.) at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (US premiere)

Wed. 2-25
Chabab 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. 2-26
Amine 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!)

Sat. 2-28

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 (eight years ago) Permalink

RS, any recommendations?

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 February 2009 13:16 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yea, just use this one.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 12 February 2009 05:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

I missed the Bahrain female oud duo last night but the hour gig was videotaped and you can watch it here


curmudgeon, Tuesday, 24 February 2009 12:31 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 25 February 2009 00:03 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

March Arabesque events at Kennedy Center (lotsa good ones)

Mon. 3-2

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. 3-3
Rami 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

Wed. 3-4

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

Friday 3-6

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

Sat. 3-7

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

Sun. 3-8

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

Thurs. 3-12-

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

Fri. 3-13

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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

Farida and the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble with Malouma (Mauritania singer/ ardin ten-stringed Mauritanian harp instrumentalist

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 (eight 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.

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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 10:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

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.

model4tees, Sunday, 14 June 2009 17:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

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 (eight years ago) Permalink

Also, I ought to infiltrate that

_Rockist__Scientist_, Saturday, 18 July 2009 19:53 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

That song is really good by the way.

_Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 31 July 2009 21:02 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

Ali Jihad Racy actually is exactly who I am referring to. Good call.

wolf_train, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 18:18 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

don't worry about it

wolf_train, Friday, 21 August 2009 19:52 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

This is pretty great (maybe more for the "band" than the singer):

_Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 4 September 2009 18:14 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

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 (eight years ago) Permalink

I saw this guy in Atlantic City (as I've probably mentioned a few times already).

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 12:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

The Sublime Frequencies Iraq disc is great fun.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 12:31 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

Okay, wait this is seriously one my favorite George Wassouf songs:

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 02:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

I think this one is something of an Arab standard. Kazem El Saher also does a version of this:

Great tune.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 03:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Those keyboards that come in a little before two minutes in!

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 03:52 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

And here's Roh el Roh, for old time's sake:

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 04:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

Needs more discourse. :(

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 24 October 2009 05:55 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

3502 International Drive NW Washington DC
Friday, 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

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!)">

curmudgeon, Friday, 20 November 2009 05:23 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink,%20review%20by%20Banning%20Eyre

More on the big show in Vegas

curmudgeon, Thursday, 26 November 2009 15:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I really wish Baligh Hamdi had done some all-instrumental recordings:

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 26 December 2009 01:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

These are fantastic.

US EEL (u s steel), Saturday, 26 December 2009 02:37 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink


_Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 03:57 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight years ago) Permalink


_Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 January 2010 04:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

O_O. Diggin' the music, too. The visuals help, tho.

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 1 January 2010 04:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

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

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 24 February 2010 01:46 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

But I think I'm more interested in his more "experimental" work, like his electrified instrument: or his fusions with western classical:, 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

RFI: music like tanger music?

bamcquern, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 01:12 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 20 March 2010 05:31 (seven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

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 (seven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Oh, that song sounds pretty good, and she's really cute as well.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 20 May 2010 04:25 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

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 (seven years ago) Permalink

More earlyish George Wassouf:

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 03:28 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Not that it's considered polite to mention such things on ILM.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 03:58 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Love the seemingly compulsive ornamentation on the keyboard parts too.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

You guys have no ears!

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 13:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

I realize abuse is not actual helpful, but come on.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 13:02 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

If I were the Arabic Music Czar. . .

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 13:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

Way to ruin a lot of great music, guys!

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 13:57 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Just kinda lazily wrapping up loose ends here, I think.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 15:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

a song everybody covers

Every Lebanese male singer anyway.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 1 August 2010 16:40 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

I love it when Rudipherous talks to itself.

bamcquern, Sunday, 1 August 2010 20:40 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Fairuz from Lebanon on NPR

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 August 2010 01:56 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

She still refuses interviews

Pretty sure I've seen recent interviews with her.

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 02:13 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Interesting. Thanks.

curmudgeon, Monday, 2 August 2010 18:30 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Thanks. What would an English transliteration of that title look like (roughly)?

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 18:54 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

On here:

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 August 2010 19:11 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Wait, you are in Africa now, according to your profile, not Lebanon.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 02:06 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'm not really into the song overall, but it's okay.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 21:30 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Abdel Halim Hafez. Egyptian.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 05:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

I think that's Abdel Halim Hafez anyway! Youngish Abdel Halim Hafez?

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 05:48 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

err tapes

kumar the bavarian, Sunday, 12 September 2010 09:56 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Apologies for repeating the/my usual talking points.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 September 2010 18:26 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I was just checking the latest releases on 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

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 (seven 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.


(merry christmas to homeland security)

meisenfek, Wednesday, 22 December 2010 22:49 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

this is wonderfull,,,

תהייה נשמת ההרוגים באסון הצפון צרורה בצרור (ڈک تپپڑ فوج), Thursday, 23 December 2010 04:28 (seven years ago) Permalink 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

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 (six years ago) Permalink

& not in a flashy way but in a chills-producing way.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 30 January 2011 01:33 (six 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 (six years ago) Permalink

curmudgeon, Saturday, 12 February 2011 05:19 (six 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 (six years ago) Permalink

The youtube video's on that npr link

curmudgeon, Saturday, 12 February 2011 15:02 (six years ago) Permalink

And I like it

curmudgeon, Sunday, 13 February 2011 00:26 (six years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

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 - Hurriya
Al-Yaman - Saraab

Competent Person Statement (Sanpaku), Monday, 7 March 2011 00:59 (six 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 (six years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

DJ Rupture in Morocco talking about music he saw and bought and listened to on the radio

curmudgeon, Friday, 25 March 2011 06:20 (six 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 (six 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 (six years ago) Permalink

from Morocco

curmudgeon, Monday, 4 April 2011 03:13 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

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 (six years 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 (six years 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 (six years 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 (six years 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 (six years ago) Permalink

Still need to listen to her.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 7 July 2011 19:29 (six years 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 (six years ago) Permalink

I wonder if Rudiph likes her or would if he heard her?

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 12 July 2011 16:20 (six years 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 (six years 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 (six years ago) Permalink

I see that Banning Eyre liked Amina Alaoui on NPR

curmudgeon, Saturday, 16 July 2011 13:08 (six years 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 9pm
Also 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 (six years 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 (six years ago) Permalink

That's how I see them described anyway.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 31 July 2011 15:38 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years 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 (six years 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 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

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 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

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 (five years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

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 (five years 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 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 2 June 2012 20:09 (five years 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 (five years 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 (five years 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 (five years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

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 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
two months pass...

still need to check out youtubes of Sadat and others identified with "mahraganat"

curmudgeon, Monday, 8 July 2013 13:51 (four years ago) Permalink


curmudgeon, Tuesday, 9 July 2013 04:38 (four years ago) Permalink

When I read about some music, it always sounds more exciting than when I finally hear it. Oh well.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 9 July 2013 14:09 (four years ago) Permalink

Tues., Aug. 6
Eisenhower Theater of the Kennedy Center 6 pm El Gusto, an Algerian orchestra consisting of the students of the first music class led by the founder of chaabi music—El Anka, reunites after 50 years of separation for a U.S. tour that will invite Americans into the world of chaabi music, the passion and soul of the Algerian Casbah.

Kennedy Center press release

curmudgeon, Friday, 19 July 2013 18:46 (four years ago) Permalink

Chaabi Checker!

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 19 July 2013 18:47 (four years ago) Permalink

Ha ha

curmudgeon, Friday, 19 July 2013 18:53 (four years ago) Permalink

It doesn't all sound like that though Curmudgeon, it's pretty varied.

Check this mix Joost from Incubate in his Cairo Liberation Front guise did for us.

Also you might enjoy new wave Chaabi better than the electro 'Chaa3i' stuff.

Islam Chipsy for example:

Doran, Friday, 19 July 2013 20:23 (four years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

RIP Warda, 1939-2012. I'm a little sad I'm only finding out now that she is deceased. For old school singers dressed in "new sound" (c. the 90s I think) wrappings, this works fairly well:

An excerpt from Esmaouni (music by Baligh Hamdi, to whom she was married for a time). Picks up a bit after about two minutes, if anyone gets impatient:

There was a time when I played her songs nearly every day.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 12 October 2013 16:43 (four years ago) Permalink

a strong voice. I like this style too

curmudgeon, Sunday, 13 October 2013 23:17 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm usually reticent about posting my stuff on ILX unless I think the piece is so marginal that it might be of interest to certain people. I hope this is one of those pieces.

Remembering Syria: Mark Gergis Of Sublime Frequencies interviewed about dabke, choubi and how the Middle East is viewed in the West

Doran, Thursday, 17 October 2013 09:44 (four years ago) Permalink

Thanks. Interesting

curmudgeon, Thursday, 17 October 2013 15:24 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Haven't heard this, but here's a pr email excerpt

Sound: the Encounter (December 2013 Tour: NYC, Washington DC and Houston TX dates) brings together adventurous musicians from Iran and Syria who seek to reassemble diverse expressions of a shared musical heritage in contemporary forms. The result is a collection of newly-developed and arranged musical pieces inspired by the millennium-old musical legacy of the ancient Silk Route that are rooted in classical and folk traditional musical forms and re-imagined within a new artistic frame.

Ancient instruments (bagpipes, flutes and drums) take on new contemporary identities in the hands of award-winning Syrian composer and saxophonist Basel Rajoub, acclaimed Iranian musician and dancer Saeid Shanbezadeh, and up-and-coming Iranian virtuoso percussionist Naghib Shanbezadeh

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 20 November 2013 19:20 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Great old brooding Saleh Abdul Gafoor song:

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 23 December 2013 00:20 (four years ago) Permalink

ten months pass... Can anyone tell me the what the music is in this clip?

Spaceport Leuchars (dowd), Thursday, 23 October 2014 01:15 (three years ago) Permalink

Curious about what this was now... can you repost a working link?

Doran, Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:02 (three years ago) Permalink it was this (it was on a video of some kids driving in odd ways, but that seems to have vanished)

Spaceport Leuchars (dowd), Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:15 (three years ago) Permalink here it is...

محمد فهد <- Apparently the singer is Mohamed Fahd

Spaceport Leuchars (dowd), Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:18 (three years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I bought this CD a long time ago, but have recently been listening to it in the car. A good, maybe very good, collection of relatively early material, which I think I like more at this point than her later, sprawling songs:

On Spotify too.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 June 2016 01:54 (one year ago) Permalink

I like this song in particular:

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 12 June 2016 02:07 (one year ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Her name came up on the Oum Kalthoum thread, but I don't remember if I've ever posted anything much by her. This is fairly representative, from what I've heard. Has that late 60s/early 70s semi-psychedelic sound.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 16 October 2016 15:17 (one year ago) Permalink

I assume that is the newly trendy Omar Khorshid on guitar. (He's all over big name Egyptian recordings in this time period.)

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 16 October 2016 15:21 (one year ago) Permalink


_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 16 October 2016 15:58 (one year ago) Permalink

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 16 October 2016 16:08 (one year ago) Permalink

Islamic Indonesian band Nasida Ria

The band, which started out as a mixed-gender tambour-playing Islamic choir in 1975, evolved into an all-female band that mixed modern elements of pop music and tunes from the Middle East as performed by legends like Oum Kalthoum and Omar Khorshid.

curmudgeon, Monday, 17 October 2016 03:42 (one year ago) Permalink

More stuff I am curious about:

Oumeima El Khalil & Marwan Makhoul are gonna be in W. DC Oct 30th at Gaston hall; and the same night at GW Lisner Aud.

Iraqi singer Kadhim Al-Sahir

curmudgeon, Monday, 17 October 2016 15:54 (one year ago) Permalink

Oumenia El Khalil is great! She is Marcel Khalife's cousin. Sang on some of his early albums.

Kadhim Al-Sahir is an Iraqi superstar. I tend to write it more like Kazem or Kathem el-Sahier. Can't say I like most his songs but he is a good singers. This is him singing what seems to be something like a standard in the region:

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 17 October 2016 16:10 (one year ago) Permalink

That first is one of those 80s Marcel Khalife songs, so not necessarily representative of what she'd be singing now. Again, she is a great singer but I don't always like all the material she performs. But it's more of a mixed bag than in the case of Kazem el-Saher (whose own songs I generally am not into at all--but Iraqi music can be a tough nut to crack, very much its own thing).

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 17 October 2016 16:15 (one year ago) Permalink

There's a good chance she'll sing at least one old MK song, though, since those are crowd-pleasers.

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 17 October 2016 16:24 (one year ago) Permalink

(And justifiably so, imo.)

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 17 October 2016 16:25 (one year ago) Permalink

She was in Philadelphia last year (not that I was there):

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 17 October 2016 16:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks. Will check those out

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:47 (one year ago) Permalink

I really haven't followed Kazer el Saher and I probably should check back in with what he's doing. I just remembering the production on his 90s and early 00s songs being kind of extremely busy and bizarre, but not in a way I found interesting. This seems a lot different, though I'm still not sure I love the style. I have a feeling a lot rests on the lyrics, in his music.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:56 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Another Naget song. Recommended:

Aristotle error-admitting beer (_Rudipherous_), Tuesday, 8 November 2016 20:53 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I don't think I've mentioned Setrak & Ranin much, but it's pretty good belly dance material (suitable for other listening as well):

I think this is from the early 90s, although what I was listening to then might have been a collection of older material.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 23 November 2016 23:00 (one year ago) Permalink

Nice comparatively low-key Samira Toufic song:

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 5 December 2016 18:23 (one year ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

Spotify has a load of Sayed Mekawy recordings. I don't know why I'm still surprised by major figures in Arabic music recording so prolifically; but in this case it may be because I think of him mainly as a composer, even if I have a couple live recordings of his that I like. His vocals can be a stumbling block at time. I definitely rank him more highly as composer than singer, but I'm still curious to hear more. He has a very traditional roots/street nasality. He generally has great accompaniment in the recordings I've heard.

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 January 2017 18:53 (one year ago) Permalink

What I've heard of his work generally (always?) has a strong emphasis on rhythm, as well.

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 January 2017 18:59 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, I don't know. Not really happy with what's available on Spotify. As usual, it's not as good as rarities I have on cheap cassettes.

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 2 January 2017 20:23 (one year ago) Permalink

Any hint on where to start with him?

I hear from this arsehole again, he's going in the river (James Morrison), Tuesday, 3 January 2017 03:09 (one year ago) Permalink

I still tend to prefer my I-don't-know-what-it-is cassettes of his, that include a bunch of songs I didn't find from skimming through what's available on Spotify.

I'm afraid he's someone who never had an amazing voice to begin with, and then didn't gain anything from getting older.

I did a lot of skimming through these earlier.

This one seems promising, but I don't recognize the songs. Might be from a little earlier than a lot of other things available:

This has some songs I recognize and think are good songs:

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 04:16 (one year ago) Permalink

This is Warda singing one of his songs (that I think he wrote for her):

And he wrote one song for Oum Kalthoum, late in her career:

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 04:20 (one year ago) Permalink

Try again.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 04:22 (one year ago) Permalink

The Warda song on youtube:

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 04:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Looks like Warda is having some kind of problems in that video. Not sure what all her gesturing means after the opening vocal lines. Odd. Looks like it was too hot. Maybe the lights were too intense.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 04:32 (one year ago) Permalink

This reminds me more of the type of informal setting that I think some of what I have on tape is from. Very cool:

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 04:54 (one year ago) Permalink

So I would say start with that last one I posted and the Oum Kalthoum and Warda songs are famous, so maybe worth checking out.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 3 January 2017 04:56 (one year ago) Permalink

This one seems promising, but I don't recognize the songs. Might be from a little earlier than a lot of other things available:

Now that I've actually listened to this, some of this is sufi ritual music or at least based on it.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 02:51 (one year ago) Permalink

This has some songs I recognize and think are good songs:

I should recognize them. I think this is the same set of songs I have on the one Sayed Mekawy CD I own. I decided to dust it off this morning and listen to it in the car. Actually better than I'd remembered. I still don't find his voice ideal, but I was getting pretty caught up in the overall flow of the songs.

And the kanoun on the second track is utterly transporting.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 4 January 2017 03:46 (one year ago) Permalink

I love this Shadia song, with the effortlessly and maybe unintentionally psychedelic keyboard:

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 12 January 2017 03:36 (one year ago) Permalink

I am not sure I've ever mentioned Mayada El Hennawy, but I will mention that she exists. Another singer who sings material similar to what Warda and Naget sang.

Still active:

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:11 (one year ago) Permalink

Another singer who sings material similar to what Warda and Naget sang.

Or late Oum Kalthoum, for that matter.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:12 (one year ago) Permalink

The problem is there is probably more than enough music in this particular style.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:19 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

The best song:

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 25 March 2017 15:44 (nine months ago) Permalink

9 views. LMAO.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 25 March 2017 18:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

The first time as guitar, the second time as farce.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 25 March 2017 19:30 (nine months ago) Permalink

Is this her:

Samira Ghastin Karimona, better known by her stage name Samira Tewfik is a Lebanese singer who gained fame in the Arab world for her specializing in singing in the Bedouin dialect of Jordan. She has also acted in a number of Arab films.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 25 March 2017 22:15 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yes. I hadn't know most of what's in that entry. I had no idea her father was Armenian. Thought both her parents were Bedouin. Maybe neither were? Check out that song, it really is great and upbeat.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 25 March 2017 23:02 (nine months ago) Permalink

My real comments on the song are on the songs with cool clapping in them thread.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 25 March 2017 23:09 (nine months ago) Permalink

That little bit of guitar just melts me. I want to live in the world of that guitar snippet forever.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 25 March 2017 23:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

Posted earlier in this thread, but worth repsting--live footage:

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 26 March 2017 00:06 (nine months ago) Permalink

well that has a few more than nine views. :)

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Sunday, 26 March 2017 02:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yes, a lot of people seem to like that one.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 26 March 2017 02:58 (nine months ago) Permalink

The evolution of Arabic Music in one medley! by Alaa Wardi

curmudgeon, Friday, 31 March 2017 01:06 (nine months ago) Permalink

Pretty good. Spends too much time after the classic era, but I would say that. I stop recognizing specific songs about halfway through (maybe a little past).

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 31 March 2017 04:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

Also really heavy on the Farid.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 31 March 2017 04:16 (nine months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I don't think I give Sabah her do. Noticing a bunch of her albums on Spotify that I don't think I've ever heard.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 8 June 2017 04:52 (seven months ago) Permalink


But there is something to be said about her do as well.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 8 June 2017 04:52 (seven months ago) Permalink

Sorry, but I'm going to bed in eight minutes.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 8 June 2017 04:53 (seven months ago) Permalink

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 8 June 2017 15:53 (seven months ago) Permalink

This album is very good. I've never heard it before and had no idea it existed. I wish there were a comprehensive guide to the releases of the major Arab recording artists, or the old school ones anyway. I know these people are prolific, but sometimes I'm startled to find whole batches of material I haven't seen before.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:12 (seven months ago) Permalink

The other singer on the album is Wadi el Safi.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:12 (seven months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Shadi Jamil apparently performing in Aleppo:

LIVE NOW from Syria's Aleppo: Massive concert held at the Citadel Theater to celebrate the defeat of terrorism & the return of normal life.

— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) July 25, 2017

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 01:11 (five months ago) Permalink

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:01 (five months ago) Permalink

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:43 (five months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Christian Lebanese singer Julia Boutros pays tribute to Hassan Nasrallah:

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 16 December 2017 17:41 (one month ago) Permalink

(Not news, but felt like posting it and this performance is a little less over-the-top than the one I saw previously.)

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 16 December 2017 17:42 (one month ago) Permalink

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 16 December 2017 17:52 (one month ago) Permalink

this performance is a little less over-the-top than the one I saw previously

Also, the bouzouk solo at the beginning, though brief, is a nice touch.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 16 December 2017 20:47 (one month ago) Permalink

Notice the size of her audiences. I know about Arab music I don't necessarily talk about (and that does not otherwise get mentioned here). On the other hand, I am being honest when I say I don't really keep up with most of it.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 16 December 2017 21:59 (one month ago) Permalink

Speaking of not keeping up (and therefore not knowing stuff), yes, there is a much larger Arab indie scene becoming available to mostly internet- and Spotify-dependent western listeners like me than I remember being there not that long ago, but maybe I wasn't looking. Mostly realizing this after looking at the related artists for the most interesting Nadah El Shazly:

And check the Asmahan sample on this Psychaleppo track (for a moment I definitely recognized it without knowing what it was):

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 18 December 2017 16:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Have not noticed the Psychaleppo mentioned anywhere at all. I'm not sure it splits the difference between traditional Arab music and electronic music in a way I find completely satisfying, but I haven't even heard it all yet. I posted something by them a long time ago (but if I mentioned them by name I must have misspelled it).

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 18 December 2017 16:45 (one month ago) Permalink

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 21 December 2017 17:53 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Sanpaku nominated this for our poll, and I have to admit I didn't know it existed, and in fact had lost track of what Mar-Khalife has been doing.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 22 December 2017 03:35 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This is the Asmahan song extensively sampled in the Hello PsychAleppo song above:

From what I gather (from interviews and articles here and there), he is drawing a parallel between his own existence as a Syrian in exile, or as a Syrian refugee.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 23 December 2017 01:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

She was a Druze princess! I never get tired of bringing that up.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 23 December 2017 02:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The results of Hello Aleppo's manipulation of the Asmahan sample, in Anqa, at times have a curious resemblance to the beginning of Circuit des Yeux's "Paper Bag," which I am just hearing for the first time (and about which, I found myself thinking: wait, I've heard this before):

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 24 December 2017 17:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Please stop comparing Nadeh El Shazly to Bjork. El Shazly's vocal ornamentation is generally rooted in classical Arabic singing.

I still haven't done a very good job at all of describing her album. That inadequate label "experimental" definitely fits (inadequately). Electronics, collage, somewhat free form jazz. But sometimes perfectly familiar Arab rhythms, melodies, timbres. And generally her vocals are within that tradition.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 24 December 2017 18:17 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Please stop comparing Nadeh El Shazly to Bjork.


_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 24 December 2017 18:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Maybe this is Morse (c)ode from the Zeitgeist.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 24 December 2017 18:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"Please stop comparing Nadeh El Shazly female singers to Bjork."

Doran, Sunday, 24 December 2017 19:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

There was a new Mohammed Assaf album in 2017. Just discovered it. So far it sounds nothing like him and I am not impressed.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 00:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

There's a track with Gente de Zona. Yes, a collaboration with a washed up Cubaton act. (Maybe they aren't washed up. I can't tell the difference when it comes to cubaton.)

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 01:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

It sounds slightly edgy for 2002.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 01:02 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Was trying to whistle this, coming out of the work parking structure this morning:

I can completely relate to it while laughing at the same time.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 12 January 2018 01:01 (six days ago) Permalink

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