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

Hossam Ramzy: Sabla Tolo IV (ARC Music)

Hossam Ramzy: Sabla Tolo IV (ARC Music)

Percussionist, arranger and producer Hossam Ramzy has appeared frequently at Elsewhere, and been interviewed. From Egypt, he is one of the few Arabic musicians whose name might be... > Read more

Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers (World Music Network/Southbound)

Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers (World Music Network/Southbound)

The music of the itinerant Bauls of Bengal has only made a brief appearance at Elsewhere previously (the album by Bapi Das Baul here) but its uplifting spiritual quality in pop-sized bites (it is... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Roy Budd: Get Carter soundtrack (Silva Screen/Southbound)

Roy Budd: Get Carter soundtrack (Silva Screen/Southbound)

The classic Brit-film Get Carter of '71 -- Michael Caine in a career-defining role as a London gangster out for revenge in grim Newcastle -- could have come with a period soundtrack, but Bowie and... > Read more

THE RELIGION OF RUGBY (2006): Ballet, with a point

THE RELIGION OF RUGBY (2006): Ballet, with a point

The dinner party in a smart Auckland suburb in 2006 was thick with well-travelled intelligence: journalists, writers, academics, IT innovators and taste-makers from television and student radio.... > Read more