Not a smooth mix
Ian Mccausland | Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada | 02/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If your looking for an Asian flavoured Downtempo mix to keep everying groovin while in the background, this isn't it. There are a couple of tracks in the middle that veer into ambient. Don't get me wrong, these are quite nice but they break the groove up.I'd still recomend this album as a great journey unto ito itself, but as one of 5 downtempo CD's in the changer, you'll find it sticks out.I have all this guy's releases and I think he is doing some great work, I can't wait to see what he does next"
spiral_mind | Pennsylvania | 02/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A wondrously mind-expanding journey, this DJ mix. As the title suggests, As Far As isn't a proper Sabbah album - it's a compilation containing two of his own tracks, three of other people's songs that he remixed, and nine others added to the jambalaya. Covering nine languages and three continents, this is one fascinatingly eclectic experience. There's almost a geographical progression to the disc, as we go from India to central Asia to Egypt to Turkey, then down to South Africa and back to India at the close.
The variety is really the main strength and the main weakness of this disc. The overall range is much wider than on DJ Cheb's own albums, but in the process it inevitably loses some of the cohesion that he pulls off so well. Part of what makes his own work so special is his way of blending so many elements into a unified whole that goes beyond the individual traditions it touches on. Here, each piece is its own entity and they're all different.
Much of the disc is still world-beat-techno, if you need some kind of label (inadequate though it is), livened up with some fascinating detours. "Colour Line" is club-dance applied to a political statement. "Have We Lost Our Dream?" crosses beautiful atmospherics with some of the most passionate singing to be heard in the course of this hour-long trip. "Pour Matoub" is transcendental ambience as Sabbah's done it so well elsewhere. "Salla" is African hip-hop (the only one I really don't like); "Neti-Neti" has an almost free-jazz touch courtesy of Don Cherry's flavorful trumpet; "Sinikan" is based around a tribal chant with a sunny tropical bent. And so on, and so on, a new surprise around every corner.
Even though I don't think As Far As is quite as strong as Cheb's other offerings, it complements them extremely well. It's a different way of looking at the same larger picture.. and of course expanding vision & boundaries is what this music's about in the first place. Recommended, but preferably after you've discovered Shri Durga and Krishna Lila first."
Atmospheric & Eclectic
C. Antal | Seattle, USA | 08/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really, really like this album.
DJ Cheb i Sabbah mixes these songs together with artistry, and his musical selection is inspired. It's not any kind of "typical" mix- the songs defy any really strict classification. You have Maghreb rap in French, a traditional Berber recording, and then techno beats and some crazy drum & bass tossed in for good measure... There's a sampling of music from every part of the western Muslim world. Some may feel this album is too eclectic or lacks focus. I say it reflects both the diversity and the complexity of the modern Muslim experience, and underlines the reality that this music comes from a region of cultures caught in a delicate balancing act between tradition and modernity. Very enjoyable. I highly recommend it."