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The rough guide to Arabic café


World music purists often voice an aversion to compilations that claim to encompass the musical traditions of a country or region. Yet these same purists overlook just how excellent these compilations can be, especially when they collect artists whose individual recordings may be hard to procure in the West. THE ROUGH GUIDE TO ARABIC CAFÉ is just such a collection. It brings together classic Middle Eastern tracks ("Ahoha A Raieh El Moged" by the legendary Oum Kalthoum) alongside contemporary dance tracks ("Ger Aach" by Fatma Zidan) and dreamy ballads ("Ya Habibi" by Ghazi Abdel Baki). The dedicated can still seek out these artists through expensive imports, but the rest of will have no problem enjoying this superb, evocative collection of Arabic music.Dirty Linen (p.53) - "The music varies wildly from sumptuous Egyptian orchestras to Balkan Gypsy bands, otherworldly female vocals, Nubian drumming, and even some techno-inspired rai music."