Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CD Review: Alsarah and The Nubatones' 'Silt'

Alsarah and The Nubatones
Wonderwheel Recordings

Born in Sudan, Alsarah, has made Yemen and the United States of America home. Currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, Alsarah and her Nubatones bring to life a nostalgic East African pop with Middle Eastern and Arabic percussion and dance effects. The music is steeped in traditional oud and percussion, but it also includes a contemporary repertoire of bass, keyboards, assorted percussion, and additional vocals. The swirling rhythms and sounds of "Nuba Noutou" are especially entrancing with great vocals and a 'nubian' beat. There are eleven tracks that infuse a sense of exotica (at least from a Western point of view), which encapsulates the ethnomusicological work Alsarah has completed. No, the music is not convoluted or highly-contrived; instead, Alsarah and The Nubatones let go and create contemplative, danceable, and energetic works based on similar modes that have been played for hundreds of years. Hear the sounds of East Africa in a new light with Alsarah and her Nubatones as your guide. ~ Matthew Forss

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