Five artists making fresh Middle Eastern music…

Five artists making fresh Middle Eastern music…

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You know, in the six years I've been at the Sound Travels thing and even before that as a humble DJ rockin' some global vibes, I've put together hundreds of mixes– and not a one was completely Middle Eastern. That's fixin' to change this wekend as I'll be throwing down a heady mix of near-Eastern grooves from throughout the Arab world. In the process of getting a few extras, I've found some stuff that is really quite amazing…

…like this lil' gem from Egypt's Mayor Mahmoud; a mysterious tune from an artist few seem to know a thing about. I found it on youtube and thus far, all attempts to google him or his music have turned up nada. But this song is sooooooo good!

 

Algerian electronic artist El 3ou is another artist I've been digging as of late. Again, biographical details are scarce, but the music is very good. I do know his real name is Omar Siakhene and that he lives in Boumerdes in Algeria and that I somehow scored an entire album of his that features some unique takes on some classics of Algerian song. Specifically, vignetting the originals in a trip-hop framework. Taken as a whole the work is more of a beat tape than a full-on album and features not only classic Algerian songs but also some cool sounding spoken word in the mix from Algerian poet Abdelmadjid Arab. 

 

 

 

 

 

The next two releases feel similar in some senses; not the least of which being that they came out on the same day in early December of last year. But also that they feature European artists connecting with music from Morocco. Telemachus is the pseudonym of British producer David Webb who has chosen his name smartly; Telemachus is a name taken from Greek legend, the son of Odysseus and Penelope and plays a prominent role in Homer's Odyssey. On his album In Morocco, one can't help but feel like you're on a journey to North Africa. Webb incorporates sounds one might find on some dusty Moroccan road, found sounds mingling freely with dope beats built on samples of Moroccan music and vintage travel documentary narratives. The effect is pretty fresh, and if you can't take a trip to Morocco, In Morocco is an excellent sonic substitute.

 

 

Much like Telemachus, the latest from Swamimillion is literally a journey into Moroccan gnawa music. The release Beats for The Road to Essouira is technically more of a beat tape than an album in the conventional sense and is the latest from a UK bass duo known as LV and previously better known for their bass-heavy excursions on the border of dubstep than for genre-bending stuff ike this. They've teamed with a Bologna-based gnawa outfit known as Fawda Trio and the joint release Beats for The Road to Essouira was born out of a one-off collab the acts did for a gig in Germany. It's actually quite excellent, a good release to really space out to…

 

C-Production aka “Badr” is a Netherlands based producer who hails from Kenitra in Morocco.. When he was 14 years of age he moved from Morocco to the Netherlands to further his studies. His music is made up of different backgrounds reflecting his experiences of the different cultures he has encountered and the different countries that he has lived in. He experiments with a variety of styles and blends the different influences into a delicious melting pot of sounds of urban and ethnic flava’s mainly of the Arabic/ Moroccan variety. On his Moroccan Express EP for Generation Bass he explores the realm of possibilities between the fusion of authentic Moroccan/Berber riddims & melodies and popular dance genres like Dancehall, Trap and Electronica.

 

 

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