Middle, Near Eastern and North African musical vibes mixed with ambient, electronic and dance grooves. Featuring tracks and remixes from Banco de Gaia, Dahmane El Harrachi, Shantel, Karsh Kale, Ekova and others Arabian Travels explores the mesmerizing sounds of Arabian music and its influence on electronic, ambient and dance music. Drawing upon the international perspective of innovators like dZihan & Kamien, Arabic Breakbeats, Euphoria and Fifth Sun, Arabian Travels documents new sounds inspired by the Arabian Diaspora.
The latest installment in the Six Degrees globe-trotting travel compilation series--which also includes Latin Travels, Asian Travels, and the recent African Travels--Arabian Travels delivers 10 essential tracks that fuse the best of contemporary dance music with traditional North African and Middle Eastern music. A mix of danced- and tranced-up tracks by both native-born musicians and those that travel via studio (mostly Europeans), this disc offers nothing but highlights.
Global groove pioneers Banco de Gaia showcase the previously unreleased "Sakarya," a fabulously unfolding groove set against a wailing Islamic vocal track and other ghostly voices. The Austrian duo dZihan & Kamien contribute the bass-heavy "Just You & I," with rock-steady beats trumped by the shrill drone of a Middle Eastern orchestra. Arabic Breakbeats' churning "Blue Turban" blends a high-flying flute melody over funky bass, while the long-standing nomadic German trio Dissidenten's "Telephone Arab" (remixed by Shantel) is a shifting blend of percussion, processed voices, violin, and orchestra.
Other tracks by Acid Queen, Euphoria, Fifth Sun, Karsh Kale, Dahmane el Harrachi, and Ekova all help fill in the picture of an enormously complex and rich musical and cultural part of the world. From Turkey through Morocco, with stops in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and all parts in between, the 10 artists on Arabian Travels gracefully groove together, proving along the way that music overcomes all barriers. --Carl Hanni
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