The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco/Balkan Beat Box (B-B-B)
Rap the Casbah
The 2012 release, not to be confused with 2004's The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco, especially if you know the new one is 1266CD and the old one is 1128CD. Without a single artist repetition, they cover pretty much the same range. On both you get cafe trad and hip-hop derivatives and devotional gravity; on both you get a Jewish expatriate, in 2004 a refugee Israeli cantor born 1954, in 2012 a Canadian emigre practitioner of his own impure Andalusian classicism born 1922. Yet eight years later the overall mood seems more aggressive. The added hip-hop is a major musical improvement because Arabic gutturals rock when rapped, even over beats played on traditional instruments, with the glitched-up syllabics of Amira Saqati's "El Aloua" providing a hint of pomo lurch. The bonus disc is by the "chaabi-groove" generalists Mazagan, who encompass most of these tendencies with pleasant-to-pleasing success. A MINUS
Balkan Beat Box (B-B-B): Give (Nat Geo Music)
An add-on at first, rapper Tomer Yosef has moved to the center of what initially presented itself as an Israeli-American Gypsy brass band making nice to a Stateside shaabi shaabi market that existed only in its dreams. Now Ori Kaplan's horns surface regularly, but doing hook duty, with the drummed and synthesized beats Tamir Muskat throws up around Yosef's militant raps providing core musical identity. Something has been lost, but what's left beats most "world" hip-hop a kilometer, and the hooks help‑-as do the likes of "Money," "Enemy in Economy," and "Urge to Be Violent" keeping the wordplay simple but not simpleminded. A MINUS
Have u reviewed Takeover by Mizz Nina ,
Celebration Rock by Japandroids,
Passage by Exitmusic,
Heaven by the Walkmen,
R.A.P. Music by Killer Mike,
Cancer4cure by El-P,
What we saw from the cheap seats by Regina Spektor,
Young Man In America by Anais Mitchell,
Trespassing by Adam Lambert,??????
A desperate album Magic hour by Scissor Sisters?
Yep, reminds me of a day in a London pub about three years ago when one of the bartenders was being really, really, chatty and going about the business too much and pressing on the customers and the veddy British barmaid said, "You'll have to forgive him, he's Australian." We responded, "Well, heh, we're Americans." Her immediate response:"Oh. Well, then you understand each other."
No theory. In fact, they are. The sooner escape strategies are developed, the better.
On this blog, "Irony" has the poorest, leakiest most fungible definition I've ever encountered.
And "passive aggressive" with words has always been a problem with me -- esp. with chat posts. Too often it just seems like another catch-all for "negative comments I don't agree with."
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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