various artists,
Arabian Travels 2
(Six Degrees, 2003)

Arabian Travels 2 is from the Six Degrees Travel Series and contains 10 selections from a versatile and eclectic group of musicians. This is world fusion with roots in ancient musical crafting but all the modern electronics mixing in today's sounds.

As with each CD from this series that I have reviewed, it's hard to select any one tune that stands out from the rest. All are fantastic creations deserving lavish praise. This collection actually got me on my feet to bellydance. But be aware that I am a diehard follower of electronic music and world beats. I love heavy synth work and percussion, so this collection is like a custom-designed dance CD for me. Give me the Frenchman Christophe Goze to lay a beat and point me to the dance floor!

The inside of the CD cover has a paragraph about the musicians and the pieces they perform. It is fascinating reading. For example, Jef Stott is a founding member of both Lumin and Stellamara. He has been working to fuse modern electronic music with the traditional music of the Middle East for more than a decade. He has studied with master musicians from several countries. He based "Funky Nawari" on the traditional Egyptian rhythm family known as the Nawari.

Stefan Muller, a.k.a. Eastenders, is a German DJ with two volumes to his own credit. Mercan Dede is "Turkish-born, Montreal-based" and fuses Sufi music with electronics. And so it goes with this list of worldbeats' top Who's Who. Every musician featured is a prominent artist within the worldbeats scene.

If you love to dance, Arabian Travels 2 will be a trip to heaven for you. If you like electronic music or world fusion, order this one today. And if you are not familiar with this type of music, you are missing the very best dance music on the market. No number of musicians will ever accomplish the saturation of layering that can be produced with electronic music. It will always remain in a class of its own. I cannot praise this CD enough.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 27 December 2003

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