Natacha Atlas and the Mazeeka Ensemble: Ana Hina (World Village)

 |   |  <1 min read

Natacha Atlas: La Shou El Haki (Why the Need to Talk)
Natacha Atlas and the Mazeeka Ensemble: Ana Hina (World Village)

The great Natacha Atlas first came to my attention two decades ago when I was in England and she was guesting on albums by TransGlobal Underground, a multicultural London-based outfit that brought together trip-hop, techno, Middle Eastern and Indian sounds.

Anything with Atlas employing her remarkable voice was an absolute winner and I subsequently followed her into many delightful solo albums.

This most recent outing -- from a woman whose background includes an Egyptian/Palestinian father and a British mother who converted to Islam, the singer herself brought up in a Moroccan suburb of Brussels and speaking five languages -- finds her once again exploring North African and Middle Eastern music with a band which includes oud, ney and accordion alongside string sections, saxophones and electric guitar.

Some of the songs are traditional, others written by Atlas and co-authors in that style, and there are some lyrics taken from diary entries by Frida Kahlo on La Vida Callada/The Unspoken Life.

This is mesmerising music and Atlas in not so much an acquired taste as a taste to acquire.

 

Share It

Your Comments

JJ - Mar 20, 2009

Loved Natacha at Womad. Beautiful! Listened to Transglobal Underground - International Times again afterwards. Great cd!

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Best Arabic Music You've Never Heard (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Best Arabic Music You've Never Heard (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Here at Elsewhere we are suckers for such Rough Guide compilations as this, because -- if nothing else -- the title doesn't lie. Although we've explored as much Arabic music (and that is a very... > Read more

Srdjan Beronja and Various Artists: The Sounds of Varanasi (Arc Music)

Srdjan Beronja and Various Artists: The Sounds of Varanasi (Arc Music)

Given the stealthy return of concept albums in rock, we welcome this entry from world music where -- if the title suggests people bellowing in your ear, taxi horns honking incessantly and smiling... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Tattletale Saints: Tattletale Saints (tattletalesaints.com/Aeroplane)

Tattletale Saints: Tattletale Saints (tattletalesaints.com/Aeroplane)

Now based in Nashville – which would seem their natural home given their country-flavoured folk-rock and storytelling songs – the excellent duo of Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan... > Read more

Coastal Trek Lodge, Vancouver Island, Canada: Where the wild things are

Coastal Trek Lodge, Vancouver Island, Canada: Where the wild things are

Halfway up the long, ever-climbing road where the numbers on the letterboxes are in the many thousands we see small flecks of white on the side of the road. Damn, but it is getting cold up here in... > Read more