Syriana: The Road to Damascus (Real World)

 |   |  1 min read

Syriana: Al Mazzeh
Syriana: The Road to Damascus (Real World)

The last time Nick Page (aka Dubulah and co-founder of London's terrific Transglobal Underground) appeared on these pages it was as Dub Colossus with the album A Town Called Addis in which he recorded local Ethiopian musicians in situ then worked on the tapes back in the Real World studios in England.

There has always been an authenticity and integrity in his work with musicians from around the globe (or indeed the global village that is London) and here again he takes himself and double bassist/pianist Bernard O'Neill off to where the music is really happening, in this case Damascus where he recorded local players for a project that is frequently dreamlike as well as exotic.

Here oud and a string section ride over gentle programmed beats, zither and accordion sit down with electric guitar.

The dramatic and distinctive sound of Middle Eastern strings is here too (on the slightly remote Gharibb which conjures up a night at the oasis, and the throbbing Galatian Bridge at Dawn which is akin to a spaghetti Middle Eastern, as is the guitar twang of Checkpoint Charlie).

The tempo picks up a pace for the exciting El Zil which stands at the midpoint of two very different traditions -- and comes off like a soundtrack outtake from a film you really want to see. As does Al Araby.

As with Jah Wobble, Page/Dubulah hears the sounds of the world in a particular way and most often lets them speak for themselves with just an astute touch of embellishment to create a kind of crossover where ideas flow equally.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this guy. Oh, and this guy too.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Mahala Rai Banda: Ghetto Blasters (Asphalt Tango/Southbound)

Mahala Rai Banda: Ghetto Blasters (Asphalt Tango/Southbound)

Okay, definitely not for every taste but here is clubland, rocked up Gypsy music from Bucharest driven by a brassy horn section and hefty backbeats, and fronted by singer/composer/violinist Ionita... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Omara Portuondo: Gracias (Harmonia Mundi)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Omara Portuondo: Gracias (Harmonia Mundi)

The great Cuban singer - who came to world attention via the Buena Vista Social Club a decade ago - is still going even though she is in her late 70, which may be some kind of testament to the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Alicia Dara of Volcano Diary

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Alicia Dara of Volcano Diary

Alicia Dara is the sublime voice and guiding intellect behind the currently unsigned Seattle band The Volcano Diary whose self-titled debut album is reviewed at Elsewhere. She was born in... > Read more

Shilpa Ray: Last Year's Savage (Northern Spy/Southbound)

Shilpa Ray: Last Year's Savage (Northern Spy/Southbound)

Perhaps because of her formative experiences as an outsider – her strict Indian immigrant parents forbade Western music and so she was secretly a Goth-punk in New Jersey – and... > Read more