sufi

lala
(Now i see why woebot never gets comments on his website, so we'll have to rehearse this discussion over here)

i almost posted this some time back when i read this sycophancy
http://www.utne.com/Arts/MP3-Music-Scavengers-World-Music-Experts.aspx
bollocks, but interesting bollix nonetheless, re-package re-package, svengalis with explorer mentality
so where's the participation contribution and giving back to develop the scene

at the same time these are the same issues we deal with back at rootsfromyard blog

i'm interested to catch the bot's ambivalent comments here: http://cybore.me/?p=1888#respond
i was well underwhelmed by omar suleiman, following massive hype all over the place, but then i do have a bit of familiarity with sounds of the middle east and have no need for entrepreneurial orientalist intermediaries.
thoughts?

 

zhao

there are no accidents
this entire article seems to have been written from the vantage point that this "World Music" is indeed somehow intrinsically different from "Normal Music", and that it is shocking that it is making such a ripple in the "Normal World" in 2010.

as if Led Zeppelin wasn't heavily influenced by Turkish psych, or the Rolling Stones wasn't by Arabic sounds (Paint it Black, Mothers Little Helper, etc), the Beatles by Indian Classical, Debussey and John Cage by Gamelan, Reich and Ligetti by African music. etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

as if all of modern pop and dance music which strips down to rhythm, wasn't deeply, foundationally, no, not "connected to", but indeed BASED ON, various African and Asian pre-modern musical traditions.

i suppose the author thinks his views on this stuff is quite clever and progressive, pointing out certain performer's "awareness of his image as the 'other'", and pontificating on "orientalism". but he needs to check his deeply Eurocentric attitudes: the CENTER of music and dance, of rhythm, of melody, of rhythmelody, of groove, of party hard, of altered states of consciousness through trance inducing beats, is not, and has never been, "the west". and the recent 150 years of music history is just a slow process of waking up to this fact.
 
Last edited:

zhao

there are no accidents
older non-western music is often more advanced, more formally inventive, more structurally challenging, more revolutionary than, and in terms of everything from expanding minds to shaking booties, FAR superior to, any "modern" electronic dance boring shit like that new Aphex Twin.

an egyptian dance number from the 1920s, singer backed by a band, often has more ingenuity, more innovation, more power, more soul, more fire, than anything produced in the last 30 years.

electronic music's "futuristic" bullshit is exactly that: BULLSHIT. as there are sound traditions reaching back to ancient times that are thousands of years more "future" than any stupid bass and bleeps can ever fucking dream of.
 
Last edited:

zhao

there are no accidents
and Omar Suleyman is so successful in the West because what he does is a dumbed down version of Syrian traditions, boiling it down to a simple 4 on the floor that unrefined western sensibilities can hang onto.
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
There's always been people who cos of their roots, or perceived roots, or cos of some weird explorer/collector thing have been digging out musics that aren't from their countries. What I like - and I'd prefer this conversation to stick to the positive things otherwise it just ends up in a zhao vs everyone argument - is that, 5 years ago, virtually no-one had heard of kwaito in the UK, and now everyone has. I think that's great.

Does there have to be participation, contribution and giving back to develop 'the scene'? How come?
 

zhao

there are no accidents
positivity is nice, but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. in this case, the ignorant conceit and arrogance of the modern world.
 

Woebot

Administrator
Staff member
yeah i think that article is ok.

i'm with sufi about his ambivalence about posting mp3s of this stuff though (in relation to "giving back"). the bottom line with posting mp3s as i see it interferes with perceived worth. the assumption is with things that are freely available is that they are worth nothing. this is why i would not give away my own music free - i'd rather not sell any copies. so to post 3rd world music for free - yeah it's a complex case and there's many counter-arguments, but at the end of the day i would rather see a nicely researched article about "world" music, some lovely photos, or even just sleeve scans than hear it.

@zhao. not quite sure if i share your hostility here leo. it seems like the guy is just saying that the world music field is opening up to other people. so you were on the tip before these people? in the grand scheme does that really matter? and actually your world music is *better* argument is kinda guilty of making the same errors the non-world music people make.

oh and the v00d00 funk guy the article refers to - digging vinyl in africa. honestly i can't help but feel like the guy is a bit of berk. as i've mentioned before record shops in africa always used to be more like libraries - they would be reluctant to sell stuff - they would prefer you made a cassette copy - so to actually drag vinyl back here (and i'm sure in 90% of cases he's not rescuing vinyl from scrap-heaps) it's a little like plundering the continent all over again.
 
Last edited:

zhao

there are no accidents
@zhao. not quite sure if i share your hostility here leo. it seems like the guy is just saying that the world music field is opening up to other people. so you were on the tip before these people? in the grand scheme does that really matter? and actually your world music is *better* argument is kinda guilty of making the same errors the non-world music people make.
not only *better* than. but beget, cause, originate, spring, bring forth, give rise to, generative of.

the relationship between "world music" and "western music" is one of Parent and Child. and they are not 2 different entities: they are inherently, insperably connected.
 

gumdrops

Well-known member
oh and the v00d00 funk guy the article refers to - digging vinyl in africa. honestly i can't help but feel like the guy is a bit of berk. as i've mentioned before record shops in africa always used to be more like libraries - they would be reluctant to sell stuff - they would prefer you made a cassette copy - so to actually drag vinyl back here (and i'm sure in 90% of cases he's not rescuing vinyl from scrap-heaps) it's a little like plundering the continent all over again.
hmm
 

scottdisco

rip this joint please
so to actually drag vinyl back here (and i'm sure in 90% of cases he's not rescuing vinyl from scrap-heaps) it's a little like plundering the continent all over again.
whoa, that is not good if that's the case. jeez. :slanted:
 

nochexxx

harco pronting
and Omar Suleyman is so successful in the West because what he does is a dumbed down version of Syrian traditions, boiling it down to a simple 4 on the floor that unrefined western sensibilities can hang onto.
i was well underwhelmed by omar suleiman, following massive hype all over the place, but then i do have a bit of familiarity with sounds of the middle east and have no need for entrepreneurial orientalist intermediaries.
i really like his music. am i missing out because my untrained ears have not listened to true school shizz?? these statements reminded me of similar criticisms faced when Konono no1 first arrived here.

recommendations please.
 

Richard Carnage

Well-known member
oh and the v00d00 funk guy the article refers to - digging vinyl in africa. honestly i can't help but feel like the guy is a bit of berk. as i've mentioned before record shops in africa always used to be more like libraries - they would be reluctant to sell stuff - they would prefer you made a cassette copy - so to actually drag vinyl back here (and i'm sure in 90% of cases he's not rescuing vinyl from scrap-heaps) it's a little like plundering the continent all over again.
http://www.soulstrut.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=1421192&an=0&page=0#Post1421192

Got an hour or two spare? Voodoo Frank goes mental over Nigerian disco licensing! "Boutique diggers" - what a putdown. :D
 

DigitalDjigit

Honky Tonk Woman
You gotta be careful in putting down Omar Souleyman not to come across as a "I've been here first" kind of snob :)

I really like the guy's music. He has a powerful voice and though it took me a little while to get into them I really like the mijwiz-approximating synths and the quasi-random melodies it plays. Unfortunately when he played live it was almost entirely made up of fast dance numbers and I find the slow, plaintive-sounding songs more interesting. I am guessing he has more than just a synth player on his recordings too and couldn't bring them all along.

Omar Souleyman has a promotional force behind him so that's why he is popular now. It is very hard to discover other musicians from the region (at least in that Dabke style) unless you can read Arabic. There's also the problem that it seems that Syrians would prefer to export other music as Omar Souleyman is deemed unsophisticated. I think this is a problem with most third-world places. Although it could just be "marketing" hype by this new ethnomusicologists to set themselves apart. Still, the roughness of these sounds gives them an perceived authenticity. I would much rather listen to that than some of the polished crap being sold in the "World" music bin.

Maybe it's supposed to be hard to discover. You know, go visit your local Middle Eastern enclave, ask around. But it's an unfair expectation in this age when we expect everything at our fingertips.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
i really like his music. am i missing out because my untrained ears have not listened to true school shizz?? these statements reminded me of similar criticisms faced when Konono no1 first arrived here.

recommendations please.
don't get me wrong i like his stuff a lot too. precisely because of its reduction of 5/8 or 8/13 time signatures to a simple 4/4. of course there is a time and place for stripping things down to bare bones, and it can be positively refreshing and energizing.

there is so much Syrian music i don't know where to begin, but here is a list i just found which maybe useful for reference. give me some time and i can pick out specific recordings for recommendation. for now:


Hassan Abd Alrahman - Ya Sahi Sabrou. Impressions Of Syria
Shadi Fauzi Alashoush - Sampler
Farid Al-Atrache - Archives des années 30
Farid Al-Atrache - King of the Oud
Farid Al-Atrache - Sampler
Al-Kindi - Musique Classique Arabe
Al Turath Ensemble - Hermana de la Luna
Al Turath Ensemble - Jardines de Jazmin
Al Turath Ensemble - La Música de Al-Andalus. La Muwashshah
Amer Ammouri - Eastern Strings
Amer Ammouri - Takasim Oud
Asmahan - Archives des années 30. Vol.3
Asmahan - Archives des années 42/44
Asmahan - Les archives de la musique arabe
Abed Azrié - Epopeé de Gilgamesh
Abed Azrié - Lapis Lazuli
Waed Bouhassoun - La voix de l’amour
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.1
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.2
Sabah Fakhri - Au Palais des Congres
Muhammad Hakim & Ensemble - Chant Soufi de Syrie. Dhikr Qâdirî Khâlwatî de la Zâwiya Hilaliya, Alep
Miço Kendes - Memê Alan
Omar Naqichbendi - Luth traditionnel 'ud. Syrie. Arabesque 5
Omar Naqichbendi - Omar Naqichbendi
Omar Naqichbendi - Sampler
Rifa'iyya Brotherhood of Aleppo - Islamic Ritual Zikr
Farhan Sabbagh - Le Oud (Concert au Schloss Charlottenbourg - Berlin)
Omar Sarmini & Al-Kindi Ensemble - Les croisades sous le regard de l'Orient
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Musique des derviches tourneurs de Damas
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Sufi Songs of Damascus
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Takasim & Sufi Chants
Afif Tain - Sampler
VA - Église syriaque orthodoxe (d'Antioche). Chants liturgiques du Carême et du Vendredi Saint
VA - Kurdish Music
VA - Muezzins d’Alep. Chants religieux de l’Islam
 

grizzleb

Well-known member
don't get me wrong i like his stuff a lot too. precisely because of its reduction of 5/8 or 8/13 time signatures to a simple 4/4. of course there is a time and place for stripping things down to bare bones, and it can be positively refreshing and energizing.

there is so much Syrian music i don't know where to begin, but here is a list i just found which maybe useful for reference. give me some time and i can pick out specific recordings for recommendation. for now:


Hassan Abd Alrahman - Ya Sahi Sabrou. Impressions Of Syria
Shadi Fauzi Alashoush - Sampler
Farid Al-Atrache - Archives des années 30
Farid Al-Atrache - King of the Oud
Farid Al-Atrache - Sampler
Al-Kindi - Musique Classique Arabe
Al Turath Ensemble - Hermana de la Luna
Al Turath Ensemble - Jardines de Jazmin
Al Turath Ensemble - La Música de Al-Andalus. La Muwashshah
Amer Ammouri - Eastern Strings
Amer Ammouri - Takasim Oud
Asmahan - Archives des années 30. Vol.3
Asmahan - Archives des années 42/44
Asmahan - Les archives de la musique arabe
Abed Azrié - Epopeé de Gilgamesh
Abed Azrié - Lapis Lazuli
Waed Bouhassoun - La voix de l’amour
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.1
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.2
Sabah Fakhri - Au Palais des Congres
Muhammad Hakim & Ensemble - Chant Soufi de Syrie. Dhikr Qâdirî Khâlwatî de la Zâwiya Hilaliya, Alep
Miço Kendes - Memê Alan
Omar Naqichbendi - Luth traditionnel 'ud. Syrie. Arabesque 5
Omar Naqichbendi - Omar Naqichbendi
Omar Naqichbendi - Sampler
Rifa'iyya Brotherhood of Aleppo - Islamic Ritual Zikr
Farhan Sabbagh - Le Oud (Concert au Schloss Charlottenbourg - Berlin)
Omar Sarmini & Al-Kindi Ensemble - Les croisades sous le regard de l'Orient
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Musique des derviches tourneurs de Damas
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Sufi Songs of Damascus
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Takasim & Sufi Chants
Afif Tain - Sampler
VA - Église syriaque orthodoxe (d'Antioche). Chants liturgiques du Carême et du Vendredi Saint
VA - Kurdish Music
VA - Muezzins d’Alep. Chants religieux de l’Islam
Here's a list of music I've not listened to that is better and more authentic than that sell-out Omar Souleyman who is simple and misrepresents the truth of syrian music in order to acheive fame and fortune from the ignorance of vanilla westerners who can't handle the true depth, energy and fire of all those tracks on my hard drive that I haven't listened to.
 

STN

sou'wester
I dunno, I think that's a bit harsh - I'm grateful for the list and will check some of it out.
 

grizzleb

Well-known member
I'm not saying the music is shit - it's potentially brilliant and I will try to find samples and have a listen when I can. I'm saying that the attitude that because something is popular (within a tiny % of the musicophile public) that this means that it's rubbish is crass. And that records of which there are only 300 copies which were made on a russian cassette standard that was only avaliable for 18 months during a brief period in the 1970's is better because it's obscure is rubbish. And the attitude that because someone hasn't heard of a particular artist that they should be looking harder is rubbish too. I spent a good while looking for some traditional gu zheng instrumental music last week because I seen a youtube video of it (and an old eastern european woman playing the zither) and thought it sounded wonderful, but I couldn't find any anywhere, and didn't really know where to start. It's just bull, everyone is limited by what they are exposed to - that doesn't make their enjoyment something that is cheap and worthless because it is avaliable to a wider audience.
 

STN

sou'wester
sure, but Zhao does start that post by saying he likes Omar Souleyman too. I think a large negative feature of the attitude you're (rightly) complaining about is gatekeeping/jealously guarding one's knowledge (that 'well if you don't know, you don't deserve to know' attitude), which it doesn't seem to me is what's going on in Zhao's post.
 
Top