Desert Roses, Vol. 4 (CIA, 2006)
Desert Roses, Vol. 4 continues the Desert Roses series that was originally released by the Mondo Melodia label. The focus is modern Arabic pop. The selection includes the characteristic dance-oriented Arabic music that is so popular in Egypt, Lebanon and the Gulf countries as well as a Rai song by Cheb Nasro.
Some of the pieces are unexpected like Tres Amigos, which mixes the popular reggaetón with Arabic pop. The CD also includes a lot of bellydance music, which seems to be popular now in dance circles. Bellydance music is rootsier, with a generous use of traditional instruments and excellent drumming. It is more traditional and attractive than the chart oriented Arabic pop.
For global electronica with a Middle Eastern feel you can check out Oojami, one of the most interesting outfits practicing this kind of music. They have a full CD on the same label titled Boom Shinga Ling.
The album even has a connection with the infamous character known as Borat (Sasha Baron Cohen). His brother, Erran Baron Cohen plays "Let there Be Light," a Klezmer-Arabic electronica piece recorded under the name of Zohar.
Three or four years ago, a record label executive bragged that Arabic music was going to be the next big thing in world music. That never happened, but there is great music out there. Check out some of it. Buy Desert Roses, Vol. 4.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.