Sam Shalabi

Music for Arabs

by David Maine

1 May 2014

 

Um ... What?

cover art

Sam Shalabi

Music for Arabs

(Majmua Music)
US: 4 Feb 2014
UK: 14 Apr 2014

Music for Arabs has got to be a joke title, right? Egyptian oud player Sam Shalabi has collaborated with numerous musicians from all over the world during his lengthy career, and one can’t help feeling that the in-your-face title of this challenging sonic collage is a bit of refutation to well-meaning titles from the likes of the Rough Guide series (The Rough Guide to Arabic Revolution, … to the Best African Music You’ve Never Heard, etc). In any case, Shalabi’s latest has more in common with Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music than anything else, a lengthy series of sound collages made up of seemingly random noise, spoken-word bits, found sounds apparently recorded on the street, radio fragments, and – oh yes – occasional strands of actual music. The whole things is, I guess, highly experimental, which is a polite way of saying “something that you’ll listen to once and then put away forever”. Much like Metal Machine Music. For fans of genre-pushing “sonic art” only. Shalabi is a fine musician, but there is little evidence of it here; he is busy pursuing another path entirely.

Music for Arabs

Rating:

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Last Gunfighter: Songwriter Guy Clark Passes Away at 74

// Sound Affects

"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.

READ the article