|Various Artists / Rough Guide To North African Cafe|
|Add Date:||2007-07-15|| ||Pull Date:||2007-09-16|| ||Charts:||Reggae/World|
|Week Ending:||16 Sep||2 Sep||26 Aug||12 Aug||5 Aug||29 Jul||22 Jul|
[coll]: Rough Guide to North African Café|
Reviewed by Sadie O., 7/5/07
Interesting collection of North African (and NA ex-pat) artists, chosen for lounge-y or café style cuts. Although possibly a bit odd basis for a comp, the cuts range from good to stunning, and showcase an amazing variety of styles and cultural mashups. It’s all good in the “bled”, yo!
All in Arabic or bits of French – can’t imagine any FCCs.
Everything is good. 2 and 3 and 12 are fantastic, in different ways.
1. ***gorgeous North African strings, midtempo swingy groove. Berber singer with a bit of Parisian flavor.
2. ****amazing rumba boogie piano, North African hand drums, vocals and horn.
3. ****cool guitar, hand drums – mysterious and snaky groove. Gypsy jazz – or maybe something entirely other.
4. ***downtempo great funk riddim, female vocalist, laid back party groove.
5. **pretty traditional strings – Tunisian oud, Greek bouzouki, Turkish clarinet. A bit of dance beat, but mostly sweet, floating melodies.
6. ***downtempo and relaxed, but with compelling big hand drum. Turkish singer and strings, a bit of a bellydance and hookah feel.
7. **midtempo, hearkening back to older Algerian popular styles. Female singers. A couple of dramatic quiet bits.
8. ***Very Parisian accordion and gruff male vocals in French… turns into some sort of mixed groove with Arabic vocals. Oop - now it’s Spanish vocals. Back to gruff French. Turns out it’s a band from Barcelona with a Basque leader with a Polish name. Whew!
9. **very rootsy Egyptian/Bedouin/Nubian groove. Male vocals. Pretty.
10. **Sudanese singer/oudist. No beat for first 2 minutes – very sparce. Then midtempo loping groove with lots of handdrum, horns.
11. **it’s a samba! Very high male vocals in French, very lounge-y.
12. ****solo male vocals and organ intro, then gnawa beat and chorus. More traditional, laid-back than their usual fare. Builds quite a bit in middle, with bass and electric guitar.
13. ***chanting and hand drums. Very campfires-in-the-desert feel, from a popular Nubian artist.
14. ***Parisian waltz with piano and accordion, cover of an Edith Piaf classic in Arabic by a male Moroccan singer.