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 from Elsewhere articles index

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Voodoo (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Voodoo (Rough Guide/Southbound)

No one would deny Dr John being on this voodoo collection (more correctly “vodou” in Haiti, the country it is most associated with), but the Night Tripper is here with his... > Read more

Victor Ghannam and Jacco Muller: Palace of Dreams

Victor Ghannam and Jacco Muller: Palace of Dreams

Regrettably like the proverbial curate's egg, this is good in parts. But then again, too few to mention.  Following their Viento del Desierto collaboration in 2009, Dutch flamenco... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BOB MARLEY FOR BEGINNERS (2012): Bob's business is big business

BOB MARLEY FOR BEGINNERS (2012): Bob's business is big business

With the DVD release of the doco Marley by Kevin MacDonald, interest is again ignited in this musical, political and religious figure who is often lazily billed as "the first Third World... > Read more

JOHN SINCLAIR: MOHAWK, CONSIDERED (2014): They gave him 10 for two . . .

JOHN SINCLAIR: MOHAWK, CONSIDERED (2014): They gave him 10 for two . . .

In popular and political culture John Sinclair is best known for a small handful of things in the Sixties and early Seventies. He founded the White Panther Party, managed Michigan's MC5 and... > Read more