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Rough Guide to Arabesque
Various Artists
Rough Guide to Arabesque
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Rough Guide to Arabesque
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: World Music Network
Original Release Date: 1/1/2002
Re-Release Date: 6/21/2002
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop
Styles: Electronica, Middle East, Arabic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 605633109320

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CD Reviews

A head-on collision between east and west
Shantell Powell | Kitchener, ON, Canada | 09/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"East-West musical fusion is not a new phenomenom. It's a natural part of musical evolution. However, musical changes in the Mid- and near-east have been occuring at a faster rate than ever before with the advent of high-speed communication networks. The Rough Guide to Arabesque chronicles some of the more recent changes in Arabic electronica. It demonstrates what happens when traditional roots meet modern beats.Modern north African music isn't all about rai, chaabi, and Transglobal Underground, although these are certainly important aspects. In this compilation, the major Western influences are hiphop and breakbeats. It's interesting to hear how the traditional eastern sounds blend with western pop. At times, you can hear what sounds like an Egyptian raqs sharqi orchestra, and then all of a sudden you're slammed with hard-hitting breakbeats and aggressive male rapping.Oojami, with the dancey track "Fantasy" from the album "Bellydancing Breakbeats", is obviously part of the breakbeat sector, whereas Clotaire K's "Beyrouth Ecoeuree" features classic Arabic female vocals punctuated by male rapping.Nicodemus, featuring Andrea Montiero, is next with "Desert Dancer," which samples the hell out of traditional percussive rhythms and overlays it all with Egyptian orchestral strings, keyboards, and a sweet-voiced woman. It's laid-back and slow, and definitely a prime example of Middle Eastern chillout music.MoMo brings the tempo back up with the fun "Dourbiha" which mixes hiphop with folkish sounds. Ali Slimani's "S'Habi" has a house feel to it.Mafia Maghrebine's "Frere Faut Que Tu Saches" is primarily hiphop, with only a bit of the mid-eastern sound. Although traditional darbouka and wind instruments can be heard in the background, the foreground is aggressively western.Soap Kills' "Tango" takes a tango rhythm and plays with it, turning it into something wholly different from the usual. I'll betcha there have been some fascinating dance routines done to this number, and if there haven't been, there soon will be.Gnawa Impulse finishes the CD with "Lahillah Express," which is a good example of mid-eastern drum and bass.All total, the Rough Guide to Arabesque is an excellent cross-selection of modern, north African and middle eastern electronica. If you're a fan of electronica, and are curious about the traditional sounds from these areas, this just might be your gateway CD."
The enchanting world of Arabesque
Starminister | Rockville, MD United States | 06/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When I first encountered this cd, I knew I was in for a treat; I love techno and electronica, and I had already listened to and enjoyed the Rough Guide to the Music of North Africa. Sure enough, I found the Rough Guide to Arabesque to be a great compilation of this fascinating genre.Highlights include:1. A MUEY A MUEY: an infectious driving bass beat, with powerful male vocals and a violin vying for attention.
3. BEYROUTH ECOEUREE: male French rap paired with female Arabic singing, catchy and bold.
4. DESERT DANCER: a slow, hypnotic beat and tune, with a complimentary vocal descant. As a previous reviewer said, it's very good "chill-out" music.
9. SIDI MANSOUR: a fantastic fusion of a Western beat with Arabic instruments, percussion, and vocals; rai singer Larbi Dida can be heard at the beginning and end of the song.
12. LAHILLAH EXPRESS: drum and bass combined with traditional Sufi Muslim chanting, giving the whole song a sort of trancey feel.Those are just a few of the tracks; the others are great listening, as well. Rough Guide's usual pitfall is that the quality of the music generally decreases as the cd progresses, but that is not the case with this particular compilation. For those who like electronica or Arab/North African music or both, the Rough Guide to Arabesque will remain in your cd player for a long time to come."
Beyond Rai, Chaabi, al-Jeel and Raks Sharki
Zekeriyah | Chicago, IL | 10/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is not your stereotypical Arabic/North African CD. If you are used to North African music, you probably have heard Rai, al-Jeel, "bellydance" or something. Well, this CD will blow you away. The focus of it is Arab-western fusion, and is uniquely north African. You can't help but find yourself dancing to these tracks, and the remixes are especially cool. In fact, the whole CD radiates an aura of coolness. Check it out."