PERFORMER: Rami Chedadeh (voice, oud, nay),
Farid Chedadeh (voice, bouzok), etc
CATALOGUE NO: 5046769372
Nominees in the recent BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music, these Christian Palestinian brothers have produced a debut album that does pretty much what the title suggests.
Long admired at home, they chose to move away from more traditional folk forms, creating their own ‘light popular taarab’ based on the traditional maqamat scales of the Arab world and drawing on influences from all over the Mediterranean. The result has brought them a wider audience than perhaps they anticipated.
Producer Michel Eifteriades employs an imaginative array of settings and arrangements that set this aside from the more monochrome efforts of many of their contemporaries.
There’s plenty of variety in the original song structures and a kind of post-modern humour in the knowing touches like the crackle of vinyl on ‘Hasrah’ (Positive Thinking) and ‘Kif el hal’ (How are you?), with its faux tape breakdown ending.
Though not likely to appeal to purists, it represents an accessible and enjoyable way into Middle Eastern music for the novice. Jon Lusk