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

Ana Alcaide: La cantiga del fuego (ARC)

Ana Alcaide: La cantiga del fuego (ARC)

Although perilously close to New Age music in places, this gently beguiling album should find wide favour because within it are familiar melodies and chord progressions found in Celtic folk (think... > Read more

Chen Dacan Chinese Ensemble: Classical Chinese Folk Music (Arc/Elite)

Chen Dacan Chinese Ensemble: Classical Chinese Folk Music (Arc/Elite)

Elsewhere has frequently posted Chinese music, notably albums by the Silk and Bamboo Ensemble, the Silk String Quartet and the pipa/qin soloist Cheng Yu. These are all lovely albums -- restful... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST ILLUSTRATOR ROSS MURRAY shares 10 of his favourite illustrated record covers

GUEST ILLUSTRATOR ROSS MURRAY shares 10 of his favourite illustrated record covers

THE DEAD C: Tusk  Not to be confused with the album of the same name by Fleetwood Mac, this record by the Dead C has a cover almost as dark & enigmatic as the music inside. The... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Leonard Cohen; Old Ideas

THE BARGAIN BUY: Leonard Cohen; Old Ideas

Although the late Leonard Cohen had numerous fans in this country who flocked to his concerts (and were rightly rewarded) some of his albums in the past decade went past most people.... > Read more