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

 |   |  <1 min read

Blessed for Making Me a Woman
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 broad definition) as comes our way, only three of the 12 artists featured here have been on our radar . . . and even then these -- Groupe Mazagan, Hijaz and Simo Lagnawi -- were faint blips.

We are all forgiven however because these artists were drawn from a World Music Network Battle of the Bands, although all of them appear to have albums under their own names from which these impressive tracks are sourced.

So here are rolling rhythms, oud and a commanding voice (Limor Oved's Blessed for Making Me a Woman), traditional songs made over into haunting ballads (Ya Mo by Dozan), thrashing metal guitars and punishing percussion with an Arabic melodic twist (the Arabic Rock Orchestra), music from the faultline between Spain, North Africa and India (Ilm by the British-based Jadid Ensemble) and more.

The fusion band Hijaz appear with a track from their album Chemsi, which was the bonus disc with the earlier Rough Guide to Arabic Jazz

So here are gnawa influences (Gabacho Maronnection) alongside contemporary rock and music which sounds as ancient as the land of its origin (the Israeli musicians of Faran Ensemble with their meditative oud piece Rain).

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music from Elsewhere articles index

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Jamie MacDowell

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Jamie MacDowell

One is good with his fingers, the other is good with his mouth. Beatbox sensation, Tom Thum – best known for the most watched TEDx talk of all time: Beatbox Brilliance –... > Read more

Changui Majadero: El Changui Majadero (Changüí del Guaso Productions)

Changui Majadero: El Changui Majadero (Changüí del Guaso Productions)

As we've previously observed at Elsewhere, Cuban music has, since the Buena Vista Social Club more than two decades ago, been often reduced to the cliches of romantic old folk and supple... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE MYSTERY AND MUSIC OF OF MARGARET (2014): A photo, a cassette and a strange tale

THE MYSTERY AND MUSIC OF OF MARGARET (2014): A photo, a cassette and a strange tale

Cassette tapes don't turn up in my letterbox that often these days. In fact not for at least a decade, maybe even much longer. They tell me there's a cult audience out there who like the... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . KORLA PANDIT: The Man from the Mystic East

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . KORLA PANDIT: The Man from the Mystic East

The exotic looking Korla Pandit – who died in 1998 aged about 77 – had a fascinating background: He was born in India to a traveling French opera singer and a Brahmin priest and... > Read more