As Islamaphobia and the refugee crisis continue to occupy the headlines, it’s easy to feel that the relationship between Europe and the Middle East is dominated by confusion, mistrust and outright hatred. But in the realm of electronic music, a tide is flowing the other way.
There are small but growing pockets of artists and collectives who are drawing the lines between traditional Arabic music and contemporary electronic sounds. Electronic festivals are starting to sprout in Tunisia and Morocco. Vent Collective continues to operate in Egypt, launching the Masafat festival which takes place in London and Cairo next month.
Mumdance made a mix melding his zero-g grime with electro chaabi from the streets of the Egyptian capital. Acid Arab and the Versatile crew release and remix North African music for a wider audience. Compilations explore the eccentricities of Persian funk and new wave, Disco Halal edits Turkish disco into club-friendly formations and Syrian wedding singer Omar Souleyman is now being produced by the likes of Modeselektor and Four Tet. Every month brings new music that sounds fresh and makes an important statement about cross-cultural understanding.
This playlist explores a handful of the artists collaborating with and influenced by the rich world of Arabic music.
DJ Sotofett meets Abu Sayah – Houran (Percussion Mix)
Acid Arab – Le Gaz Qui Fait Rire
King Ghazi Presents Abu Sayah – Shamaleh (Gilb-R Mix)
Acid Arab – Samira (feat. Avril & Shadi Khries)
Muslimgauze – Fazal Mahmood On Jute
Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy – Darraje
Omar Souleyman – Heli Yuweli (Rezzett Rerezz)
Jerusalem In My Heart – A Granular Buzuk
Maalem Mahmoud Guinia & Floating Points – Mimoun Marhaba
Les Edits Du Golem – Pyramide