Arabian Travels, Vol. 2: A Six Degrees Collection

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
When it comes to Arabic electronic fusion, there are two schools. One is the slick, hip-hop-influenced pop that pours forth from Paris and Marseilles, thick with second-generation G-funk and beseeching vocals à la Cheb Mami or Khaled. The other is the house music–-based Orientalisms that emerge from Europe, especially Germany, the U.S., and the burgeoning Beirut underground. Arabian Travels 2 treads this path, presenting ten solid club-and-lounge-styled tracks. But Six Degrees' world music focus insures a little bit of extra flavor -- the collaboration between Jef Stot and Egyptian percussionist Reda Darwish is one example, featuring the breathy ney flute of Persian ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
When it comes to Arabic electronic fusion, there are two schools. One is the slick, hip-hop-influenced pop that pours forth from Paris and Marseilles, thick with second-generation G-funk and beseeching vocals à la Cheb Mami or Khaled. The other is the house music–-based Orientalisms that emerge from Europe, especially Germany, the U.S., and the burgeoning Beirut underground. Arabian Travels 2 treads this path, presenting ten solid club-and-lounge-styled tracks. But Six Degrees' world music focus insures a little bit of extra flavor -- the collaboration between Jef Stot and Egyptian percussionist Reda Darwish is one example, featuring the breathy ney flute of Persian master Mohammed Nejad. Elsewhere, vocalist Natacha Atlas lends her transnational flair to "Sanati," and Brooklyn-based Iranian émigré Professor Shehab convenes an ensemble of percussionists and string players for his dub project, Samsara Sound System. In contrast to most Parisian fusion, which focuses on music from North Africa, the vibe here emanates from Iran, thanks to a plurality of cuts invoking Persian classical tradition. The quality and freshness of the music here -- most licensed from hard-to-find imports -- will please discriminating fusion fans. None of the tracks on this compilation lead to the same old thing.
All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
Arabian Travels, Vol. 2 is the sequel to its relatively successful predecessor of the same name. Continuing the tradition, this album explores the combination of Arabic music in its many forms with the varied forms of electronica dance, dub, ambient, house, etc. The album opens up with a Frenchman playing some drum 'n' bass overlaid with the outstanding vocals of Natacha Atlas to boot. Indian aesthetics seep into the ney-based second track by way of the connection through Pakistani and Turkish Sufism, and the German DJ Eastenders provides a spacey oud-driven piece of avant-garde electronica. Japanese DJ Makyo adds what would almost appear to be light taiko drumming into the mix with some basic Moroccan ideas. Stellamara veteran Jeff Stott adds a track, as does Christophe Goze, who actually composes in the style of other cultures rather than making use of samples and foreign players. Seb Taylor's Kaya Project runs through with a bit of seamlessly fused music, and furniture designer Felix Rex provides a bit of his night job with the ney-driven "Allisallah." Professor Shehab gathers a group of Arab sidemen to make some ambient sounds, and the album ends with a duet between DC electronica guru Holmes Ives and US/Iranian multi-instrumentalist Azadeh Abi that brings out a deep set of ambience. While the ambient tracks can drag on a bit longer than they should, the more up-tempo numbers show off some incredible skill, both in the original players' abilities, and in the DJ's abilities in mixing the various forms of music so well. Fans of the first album will definitely enjoy the follow-up, and newcomers might find the fusions between cultures something remarkable to hear.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/29/2003
  • Label: Six Degrees
  • UPC: 657036109322
  • Catalog Number: 1093
  • Sales rank: 199,927

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sanäti (4:51)
  2. 2 Nar-I Ney (9:35)
  3. 3 Tender - Eastenders (7:03)
  4. 4 Shalale (6:41)
  5. 5 Funky Nawari - Reda Darwish (5:25)
  6. 6 Ja Vidi (5:51)
  7. 7 Twin Soul - Kaya Project (6:39)
  8. 8 Allisallah - Esoterica (5:46)
  9. 9 Gatha (9:18)
  10. 10 Bedooneh Pashimoni - Azade Abi (4:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Natacha Atlas Vocals, Guest Appearance
Reda Darwish Dumbek, Bongos, Vocals, Taragat, Guest Appearance
Azade Abi Taragat, Soloist
Ahmad Samadi Santouri
Nima Rahmatic Soloist, Kamanche
Susanna Goldenstein Riqq
Mohammed Nejad Ney
Technical Credits
N. Chamberlain Composer
Holmes Ives Arranger, Producer
Jef Stott Composer, Producer
Seb Taylor Composer
Michael Snyder Art Direction
Marc Afrit Composer
Christophe Goze Composer
Lucinda Toy Sample Clearance, Licensing
Azade Abi Arranger, Producer
Henry Sarmiento Mastering
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