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 articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Toumani Diabate: The Mande Variations (World Circuit/Elite)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Toumani Diabate: The Mande Variations (World Circuit/Elite)

Here's one of the best world music albums of the year: a rare solo outing by the Malian kora master Toumani Diabate who learned from the late guitarist Ali Farka Toure also from his homeland (there... > Read more

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

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

As has been noted previously at Elsewhere, anyone interested in world music learns quickly to never judge an album by its cover. In many countries the cover is just the thing you wrap around the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

REEL KIWI UNDERGROUND: Local films that make a noise

REEL KIWI UNDERGROUND: Local films that make a noise

The phone call from Simon Ogston is gratefully received because he was the guy who made that fascinating doco about New Zealand's Skeptics, Sheen of Gold. And when he says he is putting on a... > Read more

Black Sabbath, Paranoid (1970)

Black Sabbath, Paranoid (1970)

There has always been an enjoyable if largely pointless debate about just who invented heavy metal: with Link Wray with The Rumble in ’58 or the Beatles with Helter Skelter a decade later?... > Read more