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

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