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

FEMI KUTI INTERVIEWED (2014): The exciting sound of dissent

FEMI KUTI INTERVIEWED (2014): The exciting sound of dissent

The call to Femi Kuti in Lagos – down a line which on rare occasions reaches something approaching functional – finds his country is in turmoil. Thee ministers in the... > Read more

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2011 (Border)

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2011 (Border)

These annual double CD compilations of recent music from France -- from pop to, yes, chic, but not alt.rock etc -- are the unofficial soundtrack to the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

R.L. BURNSIDE CONSIDERED (2015): Blues from before fame

R.L. BURNSIDE CONSIDERED (2015): Blues from before fame

For many decades before his career was given a high-profile resurrection by the Fat Possum label in Nineties (and he toured with the likes of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), R.L. Burnside was... > Read more

Llew's pork & prune medley, from the Republic of SunnyO

Llew's pork & prune medley, from the Republic of SunnyO

Andrew Llewellyn who contributes this makes an excellent point when he says, "is there any meal that cannot be vastly improved by the addition of bacon?" Read on and you will see that... > Read more