Friday, September 12, 2014

A plug for some "experimental Arab music": Radio Tashweesh #11 and Annihaya Records

I really like the latest (well, four months old) mix on Soundcloud from Algeria's Radio Tashweesh. Very nice, very experimental stuff from the Arab world, from the likes of Land of Kush (one of Sam Shalabi's many projects), Mahmoud El-Kholy, who 'wrecks' Umm Kalthoum's famous 1969 song "Asbaha ‘andi al-an banduqiya" (Now I've got a rifle), Zeid Hamdan with Miryam Saleh, Kamilya Jubran, and more. Plus, the photo that accompanies the mix (reproduced above) is just perfect to describe my mood at the moment. (Sorry, you really have to know Arabic to get it.)

And I also just noticed that Radio Tashweesh has produced a more recent mix in tribute to Ahmed Basiony, the multi-talented artist who was a martyr of the 2011 Egyptian uprising.

And then there is Annihaya Records on Soundcloud. Out of Lebanon, they are 'a conceptual music label that specializes in the displacement, deconstruction and 'recycling' of popular or folkloric musical cultures.' I recommend checking out all that they have, but I particularly liked the tracks "Najwa (Malayeen 2013)" by Malayeen:

and Raed Yassin's "Naima":


Listening again while writing this, my mood is improved. But I still think the photo at the top is an accurate assessment of what's going on in much of the Arab world today. At least there is some good music being produced.

Added September 20, 2014: according to the comment posted by Redha, the photograph is by Nadia Elissa, from Alexandria. I've not been able to find any internet link to her.


Hammer said...

Good post. Quite moving, though; even when your mood seems to be in the dippers, Ted.

"Plus, the photo that accompanies the mix (reproduced above) is just perfect to describe my mood at the moment. (Sorry, you really have to know Arabic to get it.)"

By that you must mean the "طــز" written on the photo in Arabic rouqa'a lettering. Hmm, this word might be made of two letters only but it has a long story behind it. The word isn't Arabic, to begin with: it's Turkish, and like most food items in the older Turkish language, it ends with a 'z' letter (e.g. gaz, maz, muz, etc.).

Touz (or, 'Tuz': 'Salt' pronounced as the letters read in the picture like you would the expletive 'Fuck'), became an Arabic word since the Arabs used to import salt from the Ottomans.

The word is onomatopoetic, too: People used to grab a pinch of salt to taste it, and, of course, they'd immediately spit the whole thing (the sound of this spit is where the word came from).

For more than 90 years, this two-lettered word was used to express complete disinterest in anything worthless, to denounce anything/anyone who's of no worth, transcribe a situation's abject hopelessness, or just merely as a dismissive/expletive.

Music-wise, the mixes are a bit old, true, but they're good. Speaking of Umm-Kalthoum: Here is a 5-part mix made by Ayman Badr; an Egyptian DJ who works from his home in Cairo, mixing old music, new music, news, old ads, etc. with snippets from the revolution.

Ted Swedenburg said...

Thanks so much, Hammer, for your generous discussion of 'Touz'! (I didn't know it was Turkish.) And for the tip on Ayman Badr, I'm now following him on Soundcloud.

Redha said...

the photographie and work is signed by Nada elissa she live in Alexandria (Egypt)and she is very productive and active in local scene.

for the Touz is exact is like a Fuck.