V/A Anthology Of Contemporary Music From Middle East (CD Album – Unexplained Sounds Group)
Genre/Influences: Experimental, dark-ambient, cinematographic, mystic.
Background/Info: Unexplained Sounds Group moves on exploring different kinds of experimental/ambient/industrial music from very different parts of the world. This new edition is devoted to artists from the ‘Middle East’. The work features 16 tracks from artists based in Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Afghanistan and Cyprus.
Artists: Ahmed Saleh, Naujawanan Baidar, Bloom Tribe, Cenk Ergun, Hasan Hujairi, Nilüfer Ormanli, Pharoah Chromium, Gey Gelem, Tony Elieh, Farouk Adil, Mazen Kerbaj, Yousef Kawar, Dimitris Savva, Nyctalliz.
Content: Fourteen artists have been selected for 16 tracks. Indeed, Ahmed Saleh and Cenk Ergun both have been featured with two tracks. This album is a new travel throughout the underground music scene of distant and unknown countries. Different music styles –mainly all related to experimental-, ambient- & industrial music have been featured. Some of them are featuring a typical Eastern touch because of the use of traditional instruments.
+ + + : I became a huge fan of this compilation series for letting us discover unknown artists active at places on earth we would have never thought they could be there involved with underground music. I’ve been impressed by the mysterious lounge-like debut track of Ahmed Saleh (Egypt; who by the way was also featured at the previous compilation devoted to the African continent). Another name to keep in mind hails from Afghanistan where Naujawanan Baidar deals with a mix of industrial- and ambient music. Hasan Hujairi (Bahrein) mixes field recordings together with typical Eastern sounds. Farouk Adil (Iraq) moves into pure mystic sound fields. And my favorite artists are Pharoah Chromium (Palestine) delivering a kind of ritual/ambient piece with a strong visual appeal. The title of the track “Gaza Requiem” says enough! And my other favorite artist comes from Israel (what a coincidence!); Guy Gelem delivering an atmospheric track with a repetitive rhythmic.
– – – : Some cuts are definitely for the experimental die-hard freaks and I especially refer to Mazen Kerbaj (Lebanon), Yousef Kawar (Jordan) and Cenk Ergun (Turkey).
Conclusion: This kind of compilation is a must have! It truly is a sonic documentary, but also a way to create a connection between people. That’s an important item for people of the Middle East who are more familiar with war and conflicts.
Best bands: Pharoah Chromium, Guy Gelem, Ahmed Saleh, Farouk Adil, Hasan Hujairi.
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