Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Youssef Rakha on Adaweyah

 This is just the best thing I've ever read on the great Egyptian shaabi singer Adaweyah. You must read it. There's no way to summarize, but here's a sample.

As the lager moistens your gut, the shade winding you down, Adaweyah’s lyric tenor – full-bodied, clarion, gravelly at the high ends – transports you back to Cairo, a city very like the jerkwater megalopolis you just came from but infinitely more euphonic for the ultra-urban tarab of the voice. Tarab: the participatory aesthetic register of modal singing, translated as ‘enchantment’ though it really can’t be translated. Adaweyah’s is one of the rawest examples of it you’ve heard in any genre.

The song he is referring to is "El Marassi," which you can listen to here.

If you are interested in listening to more Adaweyah, you can download a huge collection of his cassettes here, courtesy ARAB TUNES الإيقاعات العربية

I highly recommend the first offering, Qala2 -  قلق

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