Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Sarosa - None Of This Is Real Review

Artist: Sarosa

Album: None Of This Is Real

Label: Self Release

Release Date: December 2012

Sarosa is a project by Tim James drafting in musicians to give his composition’s a live band element. The music for me combines elements of smooth jazz, acid jazz and Balearic chill.
In my opinion there’s a few hidden gems tucked away on this album. “The Blue Pill” Which I’m guessing was influenced by Afterlife (or perhaps Chris Coco) has a wonderfully hypnotic synth and the soulful tones of Sarah Chappell. While the title track is pure beach chill out that slowly unravels guitar, flute and sax reminding me somewhat of the Project Club. Frazer Whitelock’s vocals don’t always work for me on the album. However, they really suit this and “Subway” a more piano house affair which reminded me of some of Chris Coco’s productions.
Despite the title this album isn’t as psychedelic as it sounds but we’re not all about the psychedelic anyway and this album certainly helps to reflect on those summer days in the dark and cold winter months.
Reviewed by Woodzee

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Koan - Argonautica Review

Artist: Koan

Release: Argonautica

Format: Digital & CD Album

Label: Section Records

Release Date: 10th December 2012

Nick Brennans Section records bring us label mates Koan's latest psybient album 'Argonautica' and people, it's a beaut!

It takes the Greek legend of Jason and the argonauts epic tale and uses it as the inspirational template to create a warm and psychedelic soundscape.

It opens with 'Orpheus and Eurydice' and it really does give the feeling of casting off onto calm seas with echoing, lapping arpeggios and breezes of warm flowing synth's. This combined with the liquid feel to the sparse rhythmic percussion really does give the feeling of being afloat.

There is a feeling of traversing deeper waters with 'Lost Lyre' and the melodies become more intricate and layered. I've found with each new listen another hidden gem of melody and effects become uncovered.

As the album develops the beats become more pronounced and the BPM's go up a notch or two for 'Irida Falls for Morpheus Pits', 'Crying Prozepine' (Blue mix) and 'Pegasus' where the former of the three morphs halfway through into lush breaks and washes of arpeggiated echoing synth.

Although the synth's maintain their trance like feel throughout the course of the album they never become repetitive and the programming constantly changes and evolves creating an emotive, affecting and never static listening experience.

'Seven Mirrors of Atlas' is a warm psychedelic dubby workout with cavernous echoes, deep swathes of bass, snares in the deep and once more multi layered soothing melodies and intelligent fx.

The journey comes to an end with 'Ladon' (Serpent Mix) which after more finely placed tripped out fx and slowed breaks closes with uplifting waves of synths.

This album is an absolute gem and having Nick Brennan (Tripswitch) on mastering duties really puts the icing on the cake to this already accomplished masterpiece.

Don't miss this one.

Now, where did i put that fleece..


Tripswitch - Deer Park 2012 re-mixes review

Artist: Tripswitch

Release: Deer Park 2012 vol 2 (Chillout Re-mixes)

Label: Section Records

Format: Digital

Release Date: 3rd December 2012

For me Circuit Breaker Re:Wired is a must have album for any fan of electronic chillout music containing the original album and another disc of fabulous re-mixes by quality artists. This is one of those albums where fillers are few and far between but even among the gems there’s one track that is widely considered to shine not only on the album but within the genre itself.

Section records released the parts to “Deer Park” earlier this year and ran a remix competition for followers of the label to bring their creativity to the table and work with one of the Tripswitch favourites.  The winning mix was a down-tempo version from Radioactive Sandwich, but the high quality of the submissions has led to a 2 package(dance and down-tempo) release just in time for Christmas.

I’m going to concentrate on the down-tempo release here (after all we are about dub and chill).

I can see why Radioactive Sandwich’s submission was selected the elongated intro paves the way into a blissfully soothing take on the original peace and despite being slightly reserved on re-mixes of a firm favourite I have to say I really liked this.

Joey Fehranbache follows and keeps a suitable chilled opener with a really nice dub echo on the sounds. The track doesn’t deviate too far from the original while containing some nice melodic fresh input and although the track ticks along nicely for me there’s something lacking which I can put my finger on in comparison to Radioactive Sandwich's mix.

Audioglider start their mix in a darker, moodier direction upon slow firm 808 beats. The more chilled elements seem to bounce against this for a while but I found myself easing into the track along the way. Once again it’s listenable but for me lacking a certain something.

The final mix by Tektribe (a partnership between Ultimae label DJ Nova and ethno-percussionist Antonio Testa, with guitars from Rodolfo Airoldi) really appeals to me and could well have got my vote. This ten minute long journey begins fusing natures elements balanced with wonderfully apt synths, the guys slowly introduce tribal percussions and guitars riffs underneath Natasha Taylor’s exquisite ethereal vocals. Six minutes in and the drums are almost building an undercurrent vibe akin to a tribal house monster whilst still maintaining the chilled atmosphere.

Reviewed by Woodzee

Friday, 26 October 2012

Don Peyote - Heaven & Earth Review

Artist: Don Peyote

Album: Heaven & Earth

Label: Don Peyote Recordings

Release Date: 3rd December 2012

Andy Thomas’s stunning artwork gives a depth that truly reflects the album title “Heaven & Earth” and I hoped the musical content matched my anticipation as “Peyote Dreaming” is an album I love and often re-visit. So I’d been eagerly awaiting another release from Yvon Mounier (aka Don Peyote).

The opening track “Agartha” didn’t disappoint seamlessly drifting from repetitive synthetic tones and heavenly choral voices to sparse tribal beats and earthy atmospherics which is only heightened by the addition of Dan Richardson’s bamboo flute. This is followed by “Bouroukou” which envelopes you in slo-mo heavy tribal beats, dubbed tribal vocals, eerie spaced out synths and guitar. This track embodies my overall thoughts on this album and what I like about Yvon’s music. It may not be a catchy foot-stomper but he creates a wonderful atmosphere without heavily drawing on the obvious. Which I feel stamps his individuality in the psychedelic scene.

Another element which I feel sets Yvon’s music apart from other psy-dub artists is he’s often eclectic and sometimes funkier while still managing to retain his own trademark sound. “La Foret Perdue” for example is a blissful Gilmour’esque track perfect for chilling while the comically titled “Dub The Magic Derriere” is far from comical masterfully fusing psychedelic dub with Indian classical music while “Shake That Snake” provides a little something for those who like the more traditional reggae flavoured psychedelica.
Review by Woodzee

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Orient Noir - Review

Artist: Various

Album: Orient Noir

Label: Piranha Musik

Release Date: September 18th 2012

I found myself interested in reviewing this album for two reasons. Firstly, it featured Mahmoud Fadl who Drumspyder had cited as an influence in his review (in fact “Maqsoum” was actually a cover of a Fadl piece).   Secondly, the album features more actual world music than our usual world music/electronica fusions.

The album kicks off with French act the Watcha Clan (who I was already familiar with). The track is really more of a short intro combining eastern vocals with music I’d associated to the smoky jazz café’s of times gone by.

The album moves forward from the jazz vibe through a variety of artists from Israel, Morocco, Pakistan, Algeria and even New York with the focus mostly on traditional music from Israel and the Middle East.

Although I find the album an interesting journey and like the rhythms and wind instruments in the tracks. I must confess to preferring electronica which utilises world music with either accompanying instruments or samples. This is probably why I’m drawn most to the Watcha Clan's cover of Ofra Haza's “Im Nin’Alu” by the Watcha Clan, which musically is not unlike a skankin' Beats Antique with an alluring vocal.

Although, I’m also partial to the closing track “The Garden” by Efendi’s Garden where in the elongated intro the emphasis is on the vocal, in the manner of the Islamic call to prayer but then transcends into Krautrock with an Eastern tinge.

Review by Woodzee

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Afterlife - The White Island Review

Artist: Afterlife

Album: The White Island

Label: Subatomic UK

Release Date: September 2012 

'The White Island' is Afterlife (UK chillout producer/remixer Steve Miller's) latest album and the title is most appropriate as the whole feel of the album is one of just letting the cares of the world go while you hear the tides lapping and everything else that being on you're own perfect island conjures up.

The album kicks off or should that be glides into 'Saxophone' a gorgeous Samba number with 'Lovely Laura' (M.O.S, Hed Kandi, Space- Ibiza to her credit) An amazing and accomplished Saxophonist she perfectly compliments the Brazilian beats underpinning it.  She is so in tune with the vibe. Every note is perfect

It then leads into the beta blocking heart beat of 'Seriously' with some seriously smooth vocals by Alexandra Hamnede. Echoing distant horns add to the near horizontal feel.

'Espalmador' brings the tempo up a few notches with some fine circular congo action and some gorgeous thermal synths. We are still in Brazil but now lifted from the beach skywards. It's like looking over it but with that stillness. It's pretty much like I'd imagine hang gliding to be.. 

I never try to put a negative in but I have to say that 'Les Cellulaires' is a tad misplaced..Maybe it's just me …. but maybe that's me lacking some sense of fun I just think it could have come in later.

Next up.. 'Down' with Rachel Lloyd on vocals, high note synths and mellow bass wash like the tide to create a perfect tune to watch the sun set to.

With 'Loftism' the night torches are being lit, the first cocktails are being poured and everyone is getting down to the 4x4 beats. Smooth housey organ stabs and the party is getting started 

White Islands closes with an unexpected turn with 'Gekko Beach' but this in no way detracts from the vibe created beforehand. With it's shift of continents to a dusty, dry African Nomadic desert it finishes with an introspective feel that allows the listener to soak up and properly take in the vibe created and to once more balance that primordial Yin/Yang 

There's more besides ... I will say if Ibiza doesn't have this playing in their bars then they've lost the spirit. Saying that though this is universal so if yer coming down in Dumfries or coming up in Dalston then this is your sound track. Overall it's a quality release from a man who knows what works and how to apply it. 

Reviewed by CKA John

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Easy Star All-Stars "Thrillah" review

Artist: Easy Star All-Stars

Release:  Thrillah

Label: Easy Star Records

Release: 28th August 2012

The Easy-Star All-Stars collective caused somewhat of a buzz with their first cover album “Dub Side of the Moon” a reggae-dub take of the Pink Floyd classic. That and the re-mixed “Dubber Side of the Moon” really worked for me.  The follow up album “Radiodread” once again a reggae-dub twist  this time of Radiohead’s “OK Computer”  didn’t appeal as much although “Karma Police” is probably my favourite Easy-Star track of all I far preferred "the Bends" album. By the time they covered the Beatles “Sgt Pepper” album the novelty to me had begun to wane so how would they fare with the biggest selling album of all-time Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” I remember when they first screened the video in the UK it didn’t cause somewhat of a buzz it caused an absolute sensation! I don’t think a single kid in my school wasn’t talking about it.

I think this has been a brave step by Goldwasser, Smith and Oppenheimer die hard fans could cry sacrilege or it could be there biggest hit to date? You certainly can’t fault the production quality of the Easy Star recordings and they have drafted in some fine reggae vocalists such as Michael Rose (Black Uhuru) and Luciano but for me it doesn’t quite work with some of the bigger hits from the album especially with “Beat It!” and "You Wanna Be Starting Something" is more funky than reggae. Although “Human Nature” is very listenable and Mojo Morgan & Steel Pulse do a grand job of putting a reggae vibe to "The Girl is Mine". I guess as always you have to listen for yourself and it will appeal to some.

Reviewed by Woodzee

Monday, 13 August 2012

Sirius Music - Lotus E.P. Review

Artist: Sirius Music

Release: Lotus 

Format: 6 track E.P.

Label: Altar Records

Released: August 2012

Having hosted a Terra Nine gig I was fortunate to have a sneak preview of Mike Westcott’s new progressive project Sirius Music in a live environment. Where I was able to gauge not only my response but how fans and people new to Mike’s music re-acted.

This project is aimed at taking the Terra Nine sound to the dance floor and in my opinion that’s no surprising leap. I’ve always felt the vibe of his music was much akin to some of System 7’s material, ambient trance with lush organic strings.

The chilled vibe and viola is still very prominent in tracks like “Axitonal” although the beat is more pounding and the bassline’s more driven. While others such as “Vortex” are balanced with more haunting dark layers and from what I witnessed the crowd lapped it up.

Reviewed by Woodzee

Shawn Lee - Synthesizers In Space Review

Artist: Shawn Lee

Release: Synthesizers In Space

Format: Album

Label: ESL

Released: August 2012

There’s definitely a retro vibe going on here. A real melting pot of 70’s funk, psychedelica, vintage synths (which reminded me of Faze Action’s selection for the Abstract Funk Theory compilation), funky hip-hop breaks, and T-Rex’ish glam rock.

At times the tracks seem to use simple riffs which add to the retro sound. It also at times gives a raw amateur feel but this is quite deceptive because he layers the tracks so perfectly he could also be described as somewhat of a genius.

I have to admit this isn’t currently what I normally listen to and possibly isn’t in vogue (but you shouldn’t care about that). I’m not convinced the track listing on the promo is accurate as “Low Riders in Space” sounds far more like “Celestial Waltz” than “Celestial Waltz”. I get the feelin’ this release could well appeal to fans of the Cosmic Disco and Ninja Tune alike.

Review by Woodzee

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Ojos De Brujo - Reworked Review

Artist: Ojos De Brujo

Title: Re-Worked

Label: Urban World

Release Date: July 2012

Ojos De Brujo meaning 'eye of the sorcerer or eye of the wizard certainly sees deeper than most.

Hailing from Barcelona and influenced by their flamenco roots Ojos De Brujo bring to the musical fore their foundation of sun soaked beats and fiery latin rhythms. Al Lindrum (Loveavalanche) compiles and combines an album that hilights Ojos De Brujos brilliance eclectically fused with remix cohorts from Junkyard Productions with their dub infused interpretations through to the down tempo stylings of Emprisarios..

The beauty about Marina 'Carillias' Abads emotive lyrics is that you don't have to be versed in Spanish to understand the intent behind them. A long time advocate for social change and a voice for injustice Marina's truth sings through any language barrier..

The whole album has a conglomerate of remixers who do justice to the original foundational sound of Ojos De Brujo.. From the aforementioned intro dub track to the half way through dark and murky remix from Love Avalanche. Combine this with some tidy D&B and you have an album that encompasses all genre's 

Took me a second listen to fully appreciate this one..but now i'm truly hooked 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Sun Is Shining presents Terra Nine photos

Thanks to Mike (Terra Nine/Sirus Music), Claire (Intelliki) for the wonderful visuals, DJ's Robin Triskele, Jamez23 and all who came to our event @ the WatershedMK. There's more in the pipeline so hopefully we may see some new faces in the future. 

The debut E.P. from Sirius Music is now available from Altar Records

Thanks to Mike (Terra Nine), Claire (Intelliki Visuals), DJ's Robin Triskele, James (Jamez23) and all who came to our event @ the WatershedMK. There's more in the pipeline so hopefully we may see some new faces in the future.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Nickodemus - Moon People Review

Artist: Nickodemus

Title: Moon People

Label: Wonderwheel Recordings

Released: June 2012

Back when I was a youth I used to have a friend where I would go and smoke herbal cigarettes and listen to music very loudly until the ‘wee small hours’ (Very liberal parents). I would then stagger, sometimes on my own, sometime with other friends, homeward bound.

The journey home would mean walking down an alley way. This always caused a great deal of trepidation (heightened no doubt by the copious amount of herb inhaled)! This anxiety was no mere figment of the imagination but one born of bitter experience. The Knowledge that sooner or later ‘Nickodemus- the Devil dog’ would jump out and scare the shit out of us!!!

Nickodemus was a stray dog that used to frequent this area of the estate with the seeming avowed mission to terrify stoned youths! Thankfully this is a far from that mangy old cur as you could wish to get. Which is a good thing really.

This Nickodemus began his career back in 1996 in NYC as a resident DJ of the legendary Giant Step & Organic Groove nights. Two years later, he started Turntables on the Hudson with partners Mariano & Nappy G on percussion.  Turntables quickly gained fame for its eclectic open- minded music & and feel-good crowd. The party is still going strong by all accounts.

As a producer, Nickodemus creates music from all parts of the World fusing Latin, Jazz, Hip-Hop and whatever else takes his fancy.  He has 3 albums entitles "Endangered Species" (2005), "Sun People" (2009) & "Moon People" (2012).

I must admit that I’ve not heard the previous two albums but have seriously caned ‘Moon People’ since receiving - it is SUPERB.

This is music of the highest order played and produced with warmth and a sheer joy that is a delight to hear. I’m not exaggerating to say that the more I hear this album the more I love it.
The choice of vocalist’s is spot on from The Real Live Show, Candela All Stars, Sammy Ayala, Kissy Asplund to the mighty Afrika Bambataa (although truth be told I have to admit that Bambataa’s track is probably the weakest of the lot...but not by much)!

These vocal tracks are interspersed with instrumentals that really hit the spot- ‘Nights of Balour’, current single ‘Alruccabah' and the truly wonderful ‘Vino People’. A track so uplifting that the NHS should offer it free on prescription. If this track does not make you want to get up and dance like a loon then frankly you are beyond redemption!

As in his previous albums Nickodemus sticks to the style that he obviously knows so well- hip hop, dance grooves and warm Latin jazz infusions. It obviously works so why change it? This is a good time album-Music to make you dance with a wide smile upon your face.

I will be checking out Nickodemus’ other two albums and I would urge you to beat a hasty path to your local purveyor of bespoke tuneage (or order on ‘tinternet) and purchase this wonderful album. Beats getting chased down an alley by a dog!!!!

Reviewed by Matthew Foord

"Moon People" comes out June 19th 2012. It features collaborations with Afrika Bambaataa, The Real Live Show, Navegante, Belleruche & many more of the cast from his previous albums. He's also working on "A Global Minute" which features MC's from 10 cities combined with video & paintings by Justin Carty. 

Nickodemus "Moon People" album promo video 2012 from Nickodemus on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Indidginus - Sab Kuch Milega review

Artist: Indidginus

Release: Sab Kuch Milega

Format: E.P.

Label: High Chai Recordings

Released: May 2012

It’s exactly a year since Michael Martin’s Indidginus first delved into dancehall and dub-step on his collaborative album release “Sofa Surfer”. The Sab Kuch Milega e.p. once again leaves the didgeridoo and trance firmly in the past and fuses dancehall, dub-step, drum-step and global bass.

The first track Arab Spring takes no prisoners with a hard hitting lyrical delivery which ensures this track is a dancehall floor-filler. Vajradanti is a slower low bass affair where the wonderful vocals of Nona Kalra obviously reflect Michael’s recent visit around India. The final track of the release Timewave Zero combines those electronic crescendo’s found on trance tracks in recent years with low bass twists and vocal samples which kind of reminds me of early Dynamix II.

Dub-Step often seems to be dissed by the older listeners and personally I feel that there’s quality dub-step out there. High-Chai recordings are definitely carving a niche fusion which isn’t strictly dub-step and if their sound grabs you this release slots in nicely.

Reviewed by Woodzee.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kalpataru Tree - Lunminosophy Review

 After a full 2 years in the making Curtis Humphrey's new album 'Luminosophy' is finally complete.
The album has already received glowing reviews from the likes of Pathaan, Nova and Treavor Moontribe to name just a few.

It is evident just how much musical craftsmanship has gone in to producing it too.There are no fillers in Luminosophy and with each track averaging 8-9 minutes it is apparent the amount of heart and soul that has being poured into it.

The idea it seems behind the album is to create a listening experience that although unmixed creates a cohesive transitional journey that lifts the listener from the everyday state to a higher point of consciousness and in so doing healing and realigning the energies of the listener. There really is a tangible feeling of re-harmonising that comes from listening to the album as a whole. 

This is done through a subtle dance between warm emotive synths, gentle guitars, sprinkled dusted keys and psychedelic effects. All this is underpinned by earthy dub bass lines that effectively keep one rooted whilst the head is allowed to journey off into inner space.

The drums and percussion are top notch too. Intelligent programming and arrangement designed to complement the sound and just enough to create the amount of energy needed to propel the tracks forward.

The album opens with the liquid feeling of 'Art Official Nature' that develops from a bubbling stream of effects to a much more tangible yet still very subtle dub all intelligently crafted.

This sets the tone for the vibe of the album, however there is movement and individuality within each track for instance 'Naked Soul Dub' has a much more contemporary dub vibe to it.

The only vocals on the album are from 'I Can't Feel' but the ethereal quality to them means they compliment and don't interfere with the vibe created.

'Red Moon' closes Luminosophy with echoing synths and flutes that give voice to the ancient memories of the Earth creating a feeling of stillness and timelessness.

Luminosophy is more than a body of music albeit beautifully crafted music. It is healing in and of itself and I guarantee that you will feel more at peace from having immersed yourself within it.  

Review by CKA John

Luminosophy was released on the 30th of May 2012 and can be previewed and a digital copy purchased on the following link http://kalpatarutree.bandcamp.com/album/luminosophy-2

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Guest Mix DJ Maggie Live @ Lotus 2012

After years as a back room musical connoisseur known for recommending hand-selected tracks to her friends, Maggie finally decided to share her musical tastes with the Los Angeles underground at large in 2005.

Since then she’s played her unique mix of psychill, dubby grooves and downtempo at various venues across Southern California, from Moonshadows in Malibu to Zanzibar in Santa Monica to pristine desert and mountain locations, alternately inciting dancefloors to gentle rump-shaking as well as thoughtful swaying and cocktail sipping.

A master of sure and sassy tempos, Maggie prides herself on her meticulous track selection, and looks forward to each set she plays as an opportunity to connect and activate the listener through the universal language of music.

This set is a live recording from the Lotus Full Moon Campout 2012, hosted by Tropical and Terrakroma. Maggie played the only downtempo set of the entire party, midday in the middle of the party while a yoga class was conducted nearby. The yoga instructor, Sean Johnstone, and Maggie conferred on the energy and aesthetic of the playlist. Mellow beats and a hint of world groove.


1. Tom Middleton - Return to Atlantis  
2. Rocket Empire - Red Room (feat. Chuck Love)  
3. Spacer - Fizzy Flesh  
4. Audiokonstrukte - Fruitcrashes  
5. Bluetech - Prayers for Rain (in Dub)  
6. M-Seven - Lotus  
7. Kuba - It Could Be  
8. Random Rab - Vapour Trail  
9. Vatos Locos - Angeles Chillangos  
10. Xerxes - Pirayana  
11. Jon Hopkins - Sleepwalker  
12. Desert Dwellers - Om Namo Baghavade  
13. Shri - Meditation  
14. Zen Baboon - Keep Positive  
15. Banco de Gaia - Desert Wind (Satsuma Nightmare Mix)  
16. Chunk... - Reptile  
17. Shanti Roots & Scheibosan - Yoni  
18. Don Carlos - The Sun is Shining  
19. Rocket Empire - Feel Good Song  
20. Carlos Torres - Temple  
21. Thievery Corporation - Satyam Shivam Sundaram - (Govinda Remix)

On Saturday July the 21st, from midnight - 2am, You can catch maggie playing on KXLU 88.9FM Mystic Pete's program "In a Dream". This will also be streamed live on http://www.kxlu.com/ 

Links ...

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Zeb aka The Spy From Cairo Interview

1) Firstly thank you for taking the time out from your busy schedule to complete this interview. Could you tell us a little about yourself and how you started your musical career?

I was a born in Italy 43 years ago but I have a Gypsy background ...as a matter of fact I left my family at 15 and run away to Britain (in the early 80s) where i lived for 5 years. At the time i use to play guitar (which I played since I was 9). I played guitar in bands since i was 13 and enjoyed very much, hard, rebellious music but also had a very soft spot in my heart for Middle Eastern music for its powerful spiritual message and last but not least reggae music (especially Dub) . I was in Brixton (London) at the time and played with many Jamaican musicians (Rockers types ... he he he).

 While in London I also started to get my hands on the first samplers and spending time in studios learning more about programming drum machines using synths etc. most of my friends were Reggae and hip hop producers and I learned a lot from them.

At 18 I accidentally ended up in a rock band called the Indians which was signed to Polydor USA so I moved to New York , we record one album and then Polydor actually having its own infrastructure problems dropped us along with a bunch of other newly signed bands. The Indians split up just after that.

It was then that I decided to become a one man band and play exactly the kind of music I wanted (fuck the labels and their stupid business).

2) What inspired you to explore instruments such as the oud rather than just continuing to concentrate on the guitar?

I've been mingling with the Oud since early age but never took it too seriously because I lived in Europe and I was too young to truly appreciate the instrument . The guitar was a more obvious choice for a novice musician for many reasons (if I was born in Cairo the Oud would be a no brainer..he he he).

I really started to pick up the Oud again about 8 years ago and actually replace it to the guitar all together (my guitars have been collecting dust since). I love the Oud in a way that is difficult to explain ... some people will understand that. All I can say is: Listening to Oud played well is like a divine thing to me and it heals all the pain that life brings us .

I also play Saz, Ciftelly and Sitar by the way .. and trying to learn the VERY difficult Nay theses days (an Egyptian bamboo flute).  I also wanna add that the Oud has been ignored a lot by the west and that's simply a shame considering that it IS the FIRST instrument made with strings in history (the father of the Lute and therefore of the violin and the guitar).

3) Your third album Arabadub was released this month. How do feel the sound has progressed from your previous two releases?

I think that we always make progress if we continue to do what we love which is exactly what I do... so.... yeah! this is better than the previous to me ...he he he.

I am very happy to have combined reggae-dub and middle eastern sounds ....I think that they share the same DNA .

I love very much both styles of music and i tried to make a record that was respectful to both . I played everything on it except  from the violins (provided by Sultan Strings in Istanbul) and the Nay (played by my friends in Tunisia). I programmed mastered and even made the album cover so i guess I'm pretty proud of this baby!

4) Alongside Nickodemus you’re involved with the Turntable on the Hudson parties. In your opinion is there any emerging talent at these events that may not be well known to the wider world we should look out for?

Ohh man! thats a tough question because TOOTH has been around for many years and sooo many people got involved at one point or another...some famous and some not.

I guess I would have to say that i am one of those talents that are lesser known even though I have been on the scene even longer than TOOTH... remember Organic Grooves? This is also why my previous album was called -Secretly Famous.

5) Could you tell us a little about your studio set up, the staple standards and any new hardware or software that’s excited you to work with?

My studio set up consists in a macbook pro (early 2011) load up with Logic studio (I have the latest Logic 9) which i adore!!

I've used Logic for at least 17 years by the way and one of the things I always liked about it its the Tape Delay plugin (perfect for Dub... ).  I really appreciate the new audio stretching capabilities (flex audio) in logic 9 cause I can do stuff that was only possible using Ableton Live before.

As far as synths go I don't use them much because my stuff is more organic sounding and I like to record live instruments. However, I do have The Sylenth 1 (a great analog sounding synth) Massive and some Camel audio synth which I can't even remember the name of... he he he.

I also use Wave plugins which I consider the best. for mastering I'm really enjoying Izotope which does a great job for the money!

My Midi controller, is an old Oxygen (midiman) and sound card is a simple usb Fast Track Pro by M-Audio (some people hate this but it works for me). While my monitors are old Alesis monitor one.

All in all I work from my bedroom and DON'T have an expensive rig at all. I think that these days one can make good music with very little thanks to computer technology ..so...if you learn the tools ...the sky is the limit.

6) Is there a tour planned to coincide with the album release and if so where can we catch a show? 

I will definitely play some shows here and there but I can't say when and where yet unfortunately.

I'm kind of figuring out some technicalities ....when you are a one man band its a bit difficult to play live ... he he he the show will probably consist of me , my laptop, Oud and live percussions for now.  Ideally I want to drop the laptop and actually have a band to perform with.

I made Arabadub sound quite organic because the idea behind it was to eventually play it as full band ( yeah.. with 6 piece strings orchestra and all).

The new Spy From Cario album Arabadub is released on Wonderwall Recordings on the 29th of May.