Sunday, June 17, 2007

Arabic Groove

The kind of Arabic music I like best, from what I've heard over the years, has a relentlessly droning rhythm like slow hot funk or exotic rhythm & blues. Electronic-influenced Arabic tracks are stunning. It's worthwhile to remember that Arabic culture spreads from Iraq in the east to Morocco in the west, through the Middle East and all across North Africa. It's eclectic, and varies according to locale and local traditions, plus infusions from the rest of Africa, from Europe and the USA, and from other influences outside core Arabic realms.

One of my favorite tracks to date is by Natacha Atlas, who is Egyptian, part-Jewish and part-European, and steeped in Arabic musical traditions. Her "Kidda (This Way)" remixed with Transglobal Underground, sounds perfect to my American ears. It's available on the internet and on the Arabic Groove sampler (Putumayo World Music, 2001). The CD has a variety of styles from Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, and Morocco. Some tracks exude a little too much pop for my tastes, but some, the kind I really enjoy, play straight with no chaser.

Today's Rune: Flow.

Birthdays: Charles XII of Sweden, Paolo Giovanni Pannini, Ralph Bellamy, Charles Eames, John Hersey, Mohamed ElBaradei, Joe Piscopo, Jello Biafra (Eric Reed Boucher), Paulina Rubio Dosamantes, Evangelia Psarra.

Happy Father's Day!


Charles Gramlich said...

I just started reading "King Dragon" by Andrew Offutt. It's about a future in which the Islamic world has become dominant on Earth.

Cheri said...

Charles- that book sounds interesting!

Erik- I miss you, blogger friend. =D We still haven't figured out if we'll ever meet up for a drink or whatever.

I do like the Arabic music. It makes me think of the scent of burning jade and beaded gowns of silk, dark skin and eyes peering out from veils to glance at you once and then flicker away, like a flame. Exotic and enchanting, the deep throb of the drum. Want to dance?