Txilar's Favorite Music
maintained by Roy Jones, music@hennapage.com
"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument."

Jalal al-Din Rumi

what music would you like today?

Dissidenten "Instinctive Traveler & The Jungle Book"
I have to start with the amazing Dissidenten. I remember hearing their song ‘Telephone Arab’ some time ago and being absolutely entranced by the music and the language (probably the subconscious reason I took up studying Arabic!). They have a wonderful sound; an amazing blend of Arabic, Far Eastern and jazz. There is enough of the former to be suitably exotic for most and enough of the latter to appeal to a wide range of people. Anything they do is likely to be excellent, but a great intro for a newcomer is Instinctive Traveler, but I couldn’t leave out The Jungle Book. Dissidenten, to me, set the stage for Global Fusion, bringing in exotic sounds that were completely new at the time and utilising all they could to create a seamless and dreamy sound that conjures a somewhat anachronistic mix of sounds. I highly recommend their entire catalogue.

Gnawa Diffusion "Algeria"
I discovered Gnawa Diffusion in Morocco and fell in love. Their sound is a laid back mix of Raï, Reggae and Jazz. This is one of those albums you can play in the background to chill with or turn it up as loud as you dare and throw an impromptu party. That’s one of the reasons I think it works for henna. Again, like Dissidenten, they work as both exotic and familiar, making them an easy crowd pleaser. Truly, all of their music fits the bill, Algeria just happens to be my favourite.

Rachid Taha "Diwan"
No play list is complete without Rachid Taha, in my humble opinion. He’s hot, yes, but his music is fantastic. Raï music is lively and likely to be controversial; this makes it fun, exotic and gives it a palpable dangerous edge. This album in particular is warm, sultry and quite simply, it works. It works hard. It’s also great for dancing!

Natacha Atlas "Gedida"
Natacha Atlas is one of my favourite female artists of all time, regardless of the music style. I first heard her with TransGlobal Underground and like I always do, I fell in love again! Her voice is stunning and, having heard her with them and all the way up to her latest album, it has improved and matured and is better than ever. This album is a favourite as it combines lovely classical Arabic with modern Egyptian pop and elements of techno with hip-hop. The result is magical. It is an excellent example of world fusion. It is yet another one that should get you moving in a short amount of time.

Afro-Mystik "Morphology"
This is a group I learned about with an errant download, Afro Surrealism for the Ladies. It was awesome. I found this album and knew I had a favourite group. This is house, techno, jungle and jazz fusion at its best. It’s frantic, dizzy and soulful. You can play it low or loud. It inspires. You can dance to it, you can lay back and shake your head to it, you can tell people, ‘listen to this,’ and know all you need to know about them by their reaction. ;)

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