CD Title: The Essential Guide To Arabia
Genre: Pop, Arabian
Tracks: 35 (3 CD)
Format | Quality: mp3 | 256 kbps
File size: 393 mb
1. Mokhtar Al Said & El Ferka El Masaya – Enta Omri A famous tune
originally written by legendary Arabic arranger Mohamed Abdel Wahab for
Egyptian diva Oum Kulthum, and is reinterpreted here by accordionist
Mokhtar Al Saïd under the keen tutelage of ‘raks sharki’ expert Jalilah,
and captures the original’s gravitas perfectly.
Houssini – Eleil Eleil By Moroccan raï legend Hassan Houssini, this
track is classic gutsy gnawa with archetypal call-and-response choruses
underpinned by a driving rhythm on darbuka.
3. Ilham Al Madfai –
Mohamad Bouya Mohamad (Dear Beloved) One of Iraq’s greatest musicians,
Ilham Al Madfai fled his homeland under Saddam Hussein’s regime, but has
now returned and is helping rebuild an international reputation for
Iraqi music. His repertoire includes mixing traditional Arabic music
with elements of jazz, pop, and flamenco, but here he evokes the
timeless allure of ancient Baghdad.
4. Simon Shaheen &
Qantara – Fantasie For Oud & String Quartet Israeli born musician
Simon Shaheen is a master oud player, and this wonderful track is a
reinterpretation of Mohamed Abdel Wahab’s ‘Min Gheir Leh’ mixed with
four original variations featuring guest violinist Mark Peskanov.
5. Lili Boniche – Ana Fil Houb Algerian-Jewish singer/guitarist Lil
Boniche was re-discovered at the age of 78 playing in a Paris Café. His
penchant for mixing up languages (he sings in French as well as Arabic)
and styles (flamenco, jazz, traditional) has made him a cult hero, and
this remains one of his best-loved songs.
6. Dahmane El
Harrachi - Hakhra Fayelle Probably best known through Rachid Taha’s
searing cover of ‘Ya Rayah’, Harrachi was one of Algeria’s greatest
singers of shaabi (Arab street music). Born the son of a religious
dignitary, El Harrachi became famous for his songs about life as a North
African immigrant living in France. If you want to discover who
influenced Taha’s vocal style then look no further …
7. Nass El
Ghiwane – Salif Albattar Uncompromising Moroccan legends Nass El
Ghiwane deliver a repertoire of traditional Moroccan music with a rock
n’ roll aesthetic. Salif Albattar (also known as The Reaper) is a song
about death and how it affects each and every one of us.
Najat Aatabou – LM Ouima Discovered after secretly being recorded
singing at a family party, Najat Aatabou became a popular, but
controversial singer of contemporary Moroccan, Berber, and Arabic songs.
Known more recently through a sample of her song ‘Just Tell Me The
Truth’ on the Chemical Brothers recent hit ‘Galvanize’, ‘LM Quima’ shows
her at her most impassioned.
9. Jil Jilala – Baba Aadi Similar
to the rivalry between the Beatles and the Stones, Jil Jilala and Nas
El Ghiwane spilt the adoration of the Moroccan public. A far politer
alternative to their more rebellious contemporaries, they were founded
in Marrakech in 1973 and soon sent the country alight with songs such as
‘Laayoune Ayniya’ (which became an unofficial national anthem) and this
10. Omar Faruk Tekbilek (with Steve Shehan) – Dulger
One of the Middle East’s most popular multi-instrumentalists, Tekbilek
first came to prominence on the soundtrack to ‘Suleyman The Magnificent’
directed by Suzanne Bauman. This moody slice of Turkish/Egyptian
opulence carves a direct route back to his earliest influences.
11. Fairuz – Sallimleh Alayh Only one woman has come close to the great
Oum Kalsoum in terms of adoration across the Middle East, and she is
the Lebanese diva Fairuz. The title of this song translates as ‘Give Him
My Regards’ and speaks of the love-torn anguish of a cast aside suitor.
12. Oum Kalsoum – Ala Balad El Mahboub Born in 1904, Oum
Kalsoum was the ‘voice of Egypt’ until her death in 1975. Beloved of
President Nasser (who never missed her Cairo performance every first
Thursday of the month), her impassioned, and hugely theatrical delivery
left audiences spellbound. This 1936 recording was taken from the
soundtrack to her first (and most famous) movie ‘Wedad’.
CD2: RaI Rebels
1. Hamid Bouchenak – A Shebba Although it’s agreed that Oran in Algeria
is the birthplace of Raï, the Moroccan city of Oujda could almost come a
close second, and resident Hamid Bouchnak is revered in the Maghreb for
his dynamic mix of pop, Raï, gnawa, jazz, and reggae. A Shebba shows an
abundance of all these elements.
2. Khaled – Le Camel La Camel
is from a period of his career that established Khaled as one of
Algeria’s greatest voices. Recorded not long after he moved to France
but before he began a hugely successful international career, it’s not
hard to hear what drew the major companies to his door in this
infectious slice of eighties power pop.
3. Cheb Mami –
Madiriche Aliya The Prince of Raï is known to many Westerners as the guy
who dueted with Sting on ‘Desert Rose’ but he’s far better known in
North Africa for a string of infectious Arabic pop songs, which fully
capitalise on his soulful Algerian ululations. A true North African
star, this catches him early in his career and shows glimpses of what
4. Rasto – Wach Darou Fina Raï and reggae have long
been comfortable bedfellows, and Algerian singer Rasto certainly takes
his Jamaican influences seriously. His particular blend of Raï owes as
much to Bob Marley as it does to Oran.
5. Haim – Hibina / Linda
Linda / Hamouda Better known in recent times as a live favourite of raï
rocker Rachid Taha, this song originally featured in ‘Lahn al
Khouloud’, a 1952 film by Henry Barakat, and was written by Farid El
Atrache. This far poppier rendition is by new Moroccan Raï sensation
6. Hanino – Douar Zine Moroccan Raï sensation Hanino was
born in Oudja but moved to Lille in the early nineties. He started his
career singing at weddings, but got his first break in rap-raï group
Oxygène. Since then he’s become better known for mixing up raï, reggae
and chaabi in an easily accessible style.
7. Cheb Aïssa –
Nouara Perhaps better known as the protégé of the great Cheb Mami, Cheb
Aissa was born in Saïda (as was his mentor) 200 km from Oran in the west
of Algeria. He’s become famous for helping modernise ‘trab’ – a rural
style of Raï linked to the gasba flute, and often featuring "risqué
lyrics and sexual allusions”.
8. Malik – After RaI Responsible
for an Arabic version of ‘Shaft’, which appeared on the first Buddha Bar
compilation, Malik Adouane has a reputation for mixing his Saharan
roots with a variety of club styles. This is taken from ‘Daïmen’, which
attempted put Raï on a more Ibiza orientated trajectory.
Cheikh Djelloul Remchaoui – Adieu A master of Moroccan Trab music,
Cheikh Djelloul Remchaoui draws the listener back to the earliest days
of Raï with his haunting desert blues sound and gruff, earthy vocal
10. Cheikha Remitti – C’est Fini, J’en Ai Marre From the
‘grandmother of Raï’, and still a huge influence to many contemporary
Raï singers, this song has a typically defiant title which translates as
"I’ve finished, I’ve had enough”. Trademark pummelling guellal drums
and omnipresent gasba flute make this a particularly fine example of her
11. Cheikh Meftah – Consulat It’s only recently that
artists such as Cheikh Meftah and Cheikha Remitti have come to the
attention of music lovers outside of Algeria. Their earthy ‘trab’ music
style is as old as the Atlas Mountains and just as timeless.
CD3: Pop & Beyond
1. Hakim & Olga Ta??n – Ya Albi Egyptian shaabi superstar Hakim
hooked up with Puerto Rican Queen of Merengue Olga Tanon in a chateau in
France at the behest of music mogul Miles Copeland. Latin-American
hip-hop star Kemo (Delinquent Habits) joined the party and this
fabulously infectious hit single was the result.
2. Cheikh DB
Mix – Allaoui & Reggada Allaoui is a type of dance from West Algeria
used exclusively in Oran and Oujda, and Reggada is a particular vocal
style from the same region. This is a cool fusion of both from the
unlikely named Cheikh DB Mix.
3. Hanino – Cuite Ni Hanino first
came to prominence collaborating with the Bouchenak Brothers on his
debut album ‘Al Bardia’. Since then the Moroccan heartthrob has made
countless albums drawing on elements of raï, shaabi, and reggada amongst
others. This track is perfect slice of North African pop.
Nancy – Akhasmak Ah (We Might Quarrel) Born in Asrafiyeh, Lebanon, in
1983, Nancy Ajram started her career by covering the songs of Fairuz and
Oum Kalsoum, before releasing a debut album in her early teens. The
title translates as "I’d get upset from you”, and propelled her into
superstardom plus a lucrative deal with Coca Cola.
5. Hasna –
Marsoul Il Hob (Object Of My Affection) With an intro hugely reminiscent
of Panjabi MC’s ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’, this is sensuous Arabic pop by
beautiful Moroccan singer Hasna. A huge hit across the Middle East, it
was written by Moroccan musician Abdel Wahab el-Doukali.
Najwa Karam – Bara’ah Najwa Karam helped put Lebanese pop music on the
map in the 1990’s. A philosophy graduate, she released her first album
‘Ya Hahayec’ in 1989, and has since won many admirers and countless
awards, making her one of the Arabic world’s best loved divas.
7. Yuri Mrakadi – Arabyon Ana (Circus mix) One of the biggest stars of
the moment, Lebanese singer Yuri Mrakadi hit the ground running with the
release of his debut album in 2001. Frequently used by big
multi-national corporations to help endorse their products, his voice
and looks mark him out as a very gifted - and corporate savvy -
8. Beirut Biloma – Take Me To Beirut Originally a
huge club anthem entitled ‘Drive me to Beirut’ this remake appeared on
the debut album of Lebanese producer Mohamed Kebbe’s current project
Beirut Biloma. Arabic dance isn’t usually faceless, but Kebbe relies on a
host of singers and rappers to help front his expansive productions.
9. Kadim Al Sahir – Baghdad (Kathora Al Hadeeth) (Transglobal
Underground alternative mix) Iraqi heartthrob Kadim Al Sahir has often
courted controversy. At the start of his career he refused to sell out
by singing manufactured pop, and his first hit ‘Ladghat El Hayya’ in
1987 was a thinly veiled critique of the recent Iran-Iraq conflict.
Having studied traditional Arabic music at Baghdad Music Academy his
contemporary compositions have more depth than most, as this rare
Transgloblal Underground remix testifies.
10. Dar Beida 04
feat. Amina Annabi – Fet Li Fet A studio collaboration between Swiss
producer Pat Jabbar and Moroccan artist Ahderrahim Akkaoui, Dar Beida
(the Arabic name for Casablanca) mixed trance, dub and chill-out sounds
with traditional Moroccan music and raï. On this track Tunisian
chanteuse Amina Annabi sings of peaceful support for Palestine.
11. Azzddine with Bill Laswell - Srir F’al Houbb Azzddine Ouhnine is a
blind Oud player and composer from Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Here
he collaborates with various members of his orchestra, alongside
esteemed bass player Bill Laswell, to produce a fine fusion of Moroccan
dub and swooping Arabic strings.
12. Aisha Kandisha’s Jarring
Effects - Lahbab Underground Moroccan trance collective, Aisha
Kandisha’s Jarring Effects, were named after a mythical
enchantress/she-devil and in the early 90’s developed a considerable
following in Europe. This track sees them at the height of their powers,
taken from the cult album ‘Shabeesation’ which also featured Bill
Laswell, Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets, and P-Funk keyboardist