The Yemen Tihama

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Topic
WORKS: Trance and dance music from the Red Sea coast of Arabia
PERFORMER: Various
CATALOGUE NO: TSCD 920

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The Yemen Tihama box says ‘trance & dance’ but don’t expect it to take you clubbing. This British Library National Sound Archive issue has the virtues of its predecessors on the same label, especially a sense of real events.

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Anderson Bakewell’s 1982 tapes cover piped wedding music, drumming sessions, songs with plucked strings, more African than Arabic in their rhythmic and melodic styles, reflecting ancient trade relations across the Red Sea. The outgoing attitude continues with the unlikely inclusion of a number from a Seventies Hindi film, thoroughly assimilated. Tracks are short, but run on enough for a state of trance to be within imaginative reach.