Drum & Tribe Cyber Jam Vol. 3 :: Oriental Breakbeats
When I met Genetic DruGs before this compilation hit stores, he told me the tunes would be focused around Middle East and North Africa but their production would primarily be done in western countries. So...it would be "foreigners" composing what they call Middle Eastern music. "More of a diaspora thing," he clarified.
Such are featured in Genetic Drugs' third Drum & Tribe series titled Oriental Breakbeats (what we call Middle Eastern they call Oriental): musicians native to the M.East or N. Africa experimenting and interacting with other musicians, notably producers from Europe who are worldly enough to create something pleasantly unique to the human ear. We are quite lucky to have such open-minded musicians who have the skill and ambition to penetrate and break open the conservative bubble of Arabic music forever. There definately needs to be a scene evolving.
Whether it be local Arabic popstars, freelance Arabic musicians coming from families of rich musical heritage, or avant-gard European artists seeking cultural insight, you won't be disappointed with their efforts cleverly selected for this compilation.
The album starts off with Genetic Drugs' own dancey remake of Egyptian popstar Mohamed Mounir's "Washri" then moving on to a chillout trip-hoppy track with a hypnotizing flute melody by Portugese DJ Pedro (Digital Bled) and the famous L'Orchestre National de Barbes' Youcef Boukela. Discreetly blending in comes ex-Transglobal Underground member Natacha Atlas' "Moustahil" with powerful yet sweet vocals. Just her name mentioned is enough. France-based Faudel's spirit of Rai is then tossed into an unexpected drum + bass arrangement in "N'Sel Fik," followed by a painfully short jungle and reggae-laced "Dylan'e Jerbaaran" by The Third Planet, an Indo-Italiano-Arabo outfit.
Tunisian babe Amina also makes an important appearance with "Lirrili" collaborating with UK's Renegade Soundwave. Mentioned here are not necessarily the only good tracks. See for yourselves.
So we have here an album quite rare in terms of content. For one, it boasts the veterans-Amina, Faudel, Natacha Atlas-who sound too good to leave out and includes fresh new projects equally gratifying to the ear. Not only that: Genetic Drugs has selected a range of styles from drum + bass to dance to reggae to raw traditional. An excellent album-diverse in content, staying satisfyingly true to the ethnotechno freaks out there.