Sahara Groove 2 (Arc Music)
This is a terrific compilation of music from North Africa. The 11 tracks make for over an hour of fine listening pleasure, with samples of music from Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. The accompanying booklet has copious notes (a dying art in this day and age!) and has text in English, Spanish, French and German. The tracks are generally upbeat with funky grooves thrown in as well.
The album begins with Moroccan percussionist Chalf Hassan’s Amul Koutchi. Our picks include Egyptian duo Rafat Misso and Hossam Ramzy’s percussive El Shouma: The Saaidi Dancing Stick, as well as the instrumental piece Taarida Hawzi by Chalf Hassan. The rai track by Algeria’s Chaba Noria — Dima Sabra – also stands out, and the compilation ends in fine style with another rai track by Cheb Nacim, Khabi Serak Ya Ghafel Wa Aqra Hadrek.
If you like this compilation you should also check out the first Sahara Groove compilation by Arc Music, which features gnawa, rai and modern fusion Arabic music. Artistes included in this original compilation range from Hossam Ramzy and Ali Hassan Kuban to Sahraoui and Cheikha Rimitti.