CD Bellydance Superstars [Ark 21] (CD 920975),
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Bellydance Superstars [Ark 21]

  • 1. Raks Afrika - Paul Dinletir
    2. Ah Ya Leil - Shereen
    3. El Salam - Hakim
    4. Warda - Warda
    5. Ice Queen - Dinletir
    6. Talakik - Hakim
    7. Nebtidi Mnain el Hikaya - Mohamed Abdel Wahab
    8. Chicky - Oojami
    9. Sahra Saidi - Gamal Gommaa
    10. Bitwannes Beek - Warda
    11. Il Alem Allah - Amr Diab
    12. Zeina - Mohamed Abdel Wahab
    13. Msafer - Mohamed Abdel Wahab
    14. Esma Yalli - Hakim
    15. Drum Solo - Ziad Islambouli/Muzhar Katem/Muzhar Zagat
    16. Habibi Ya Albi
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 850 061

  • Credits

    Compilation producers: Joelle Ferrando, Miles Copeland.
    The first thing to do with this is ignore the title. Whether the belly dancers who picked these tracks are superstars or not is unknown -- but they have good taste in Middle Eastern music. There are four cuts from the Mondo Melodia stable (by Oojami, with the band's four-on-the-floor Turkish club mix, and three sha'bi selections from Hakim -- all good songs), but the rest spreads its wings much wider. Of greatest interest are three wonderful tracks by the legendary Mohamed Abdul Wahab, whose compositions helped bring Egyptian classical music into modern times, utilizing such contemporary instruments as electric guitar -- which features as a rhythm instrument on "Nebtidi Mnain El Hikaya." The guitar is also a mainstay on Shereen's "Ah Ya Leil," with a wah-wah lick underpinning the song la "Shaft." With wonderful stuff from Warda, two excellent cuts by Dinletir ("Raks Africa" makes a powerful opening to the disc), and "Il Alem Allah" from Egyptian superstar Amr Diab, things move well. Two cuts of pure percussion make sure everything percolates, before the collection ends with the classic anthem "Habibi Ya Albi," in a version by Ihab Tawfik. It might be designed for dancing, but it's also a more than satisfying listening experience -- hip swaying optional. ~ Chris Nickson

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