Gilded Serpent presents...
Review of
Tribal Beats for the Urban Streets”
by Roz
Halloween, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween, everyone! I just finished listening to Tribal Beats for the Urban Streets, a collection of songs chosen by the respected Tribal artists of the Belly Dance Super Stars ensemble.

Let’s see what tricks or treats are in store for us!

1)      Beats Antique, “Intertwine” – A very popular song used by Tribal troupes. Melodic, pleasant and fresh; an ancient feel with a drumbeat twist.

2)      Omar Faruk Tekbilek, “Shashkin (remix)”Omar Faruk Tekbilek’s most famous song, Shaskin, is often used by belly dancers in performance. A DJ took the song and mixed it with down tempo rave beats and noises. It is gritty, dark, and overworked. The essence, light, and spirituality of the original song is lost.

3)      Muslimgauze, “Pale Elegant Egyptian” – A looped, one minute, industrial music mix with no Arabic influence whatsoever. Go to a goth club and listen to this.

4)      Corvus Corax, “Najo Ratte” – A harsh, crass male screams at you at the beginning of the song and then plays bagpipes. Goodbye belly dancing, hello Irish step dancing at your local nightclub.

5)      Bassnectar, “Everybody” – Yo, Ho! Whaz up everybody? This is a hip hop-electronica song. Anyone at a rave can dance to this one; it isn’t exclusively for belly dancers. There is a repeating whip sound for those into the S&M scene. Let’s repeat ourselves for lack of lyrics: “Everybody, everybody, everybody… yo ho!”

6)      Pentaphobe, “Right in the Eyeball” – Creepy goth music. Where’s my black eyeliner and gloves? 

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7)      Beats Antique, “Discovered” – Silly backbeats and trumpet with an Arabic drum solo looping in the background.

8)      Man Man, “Engrish Bwudd” – Even sillier and the strangest, most “out there” song on this album. It sounds like a Broadway musical.

9)      The Toids, “Kleftiyiannis” – A fun, carnival-like rendition of a classic Arabic belly dance song, ”Taht Elshibak” in accordian.

10)   Ruben van  Rompaey, “Sun Dance” – Finally! I cannot believe it! An Arabic drum solo. Easy on the ears.

11)   Maduro, “Nineveh” – Dirty, dark, alien space music with a drum beat. WoOoO!

12)   The Upper Egypt Ensemble, “Ismaaouni” – Clean, classic, Egyptian drum beats untouched by the hands of a DJ.

13)   Pentaphobe, “Kitten Pig” – An old, grimy piano, echoes in my mind.  It sounds like Danny Elfman’s theme song for the movie Beetlejuice. Perfect for Halloween…

 Tribal Beats for the Urban Streets, with its polished, dark, Tribal-friendly cover, claims that this is a “must have for belly dance enthusiasts” (and all Belly Dance Superstar fans, of course!). The CD begins with dark, DJ-influenced song- a good indication of what the listener is in store for. The CD then becomes progressively more and more electronic with hints and mixes of rave, industrial, and hip hop music.

Most songs had hardly any trace of Arabic music influence. Tribal Beats for the Urban Streets contains pop club music that is taking a risk when delving into the realm of the belly dance world. Will the electronic music on this CD still be the trend in ten years or will it be old news? We will see where it goes in the hands of all dancers everywhere now and for years to come.

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