Arabic Beat

$14.98

Putumayo Delves into the Fresh, Upbeat Sounds of the Arabic Scene from Damascus to Casablanca and Beyond on Arabic Beat. Across the Middle East and North Africa, the beat goes on. Inspired by music from across the globe but true to Arabic music s deep roots, the sounds of raï’s rolling funk and the shimmering […]

Putumayo Delves into the Fresh, Upbeat Sounds of the Arabic Scene from Damascus to Casablanca and Beyond on Arabic Beat. Across the Middle East and North Africa, the beat goes on. Inspired by music from across the globe but true to Arabic music s deep roots, the sounds of raï’s rolling funk and the shimmering pulse of raqs sharki (belly dance music) tell the story of a thriving contemporary scene that stretches across the breadth of the Mediterranean. This scene shines on Putumayo’s Arabic Beat, a collection that chronicles the musical creativity of Arabic musicians today. The album revels in artists rarely heard in the West: the unsung stars and hit-makers who shape the region’s music. Wild-eyed bohemians and visionary songwriters, belly-dancers and R&B crooners, child stars and Idol-style contest victors, the artists on Arabic Beat each have their own story. But, most have one thing in common: They are household names in certain corners of the Arabic world, but have yet to reach many listeners in the rest of the world. These discoveries include the rocking Berber roots of Morrocco’s Jalal El Hamdaoui and the funky grooves of Algerian performer Cheb Amar. The collection also reflects how the Arabic beat echoes in major centers of immigration in European cities like Marseille (home of Watcha Clan) and Barcelona (where Nour is based). Another element that ties many of these tracks together: the spirit of liberation and change that inspired the recent protest movements across the region. Though often singing of love and good times like artists everywhere, many of the musicians on the album also thoughtfully and poetically offer their perspective on everything from the difficulties of immigration to the desire for freedom (like Watcha Clan’s artful rendition of Osfour, a song by Lebanese oud master and maverick musical legend Marcel Khalifé). Reflecting the youthful, free spirit that guided the Arab Spring, these tracks highlight the positive, hopeful side of Arabic culture.

World Music

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