Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Dhafer Youssef - Divine Shadows, album review

Twopence and Way Beyond

As with Bird Requiem, reviewed here, this earlier 2006 album is beautiful, Youssef playing the oud more and his vocal less to the fore overall, but when he does voice his trance singing it is as hypnotically pleasing as ever. There is a healthy mix of contemporary and traditional, exemplified well by tracks 2 and 3: the modern in former 27th Century Ethos where electronic soundscapes pulse and beat under Youssef's singing; the traditional in latter Miel El Cendres where his oud [lute] playing is accompanied classically by the Oslo Session String Quartet. Heavier permutations get developed in the 10 minutes of Odd Poetry where Norwegian jazz musicians add their twopence of infinitely more worth.

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