Productions & Compilations

Rough Guide to Latin Arabia


2009 Release
Nili Belkind: Compiler


World Music Central
... When the dueling violins of Alfredo de la Fé, from Cuba, and Salah Rahanny, from Morocco meet on the track, ‘Macondo’ it is no coincidence that the sounds are both contrasting and harmonious. The artists may have been brought up on different continents but they share in a musical tradition which dates back to the ninth century.

The 600 year-long Moorish control of the southern part of the Iberian peninsula brought many Arabic musical influences to Europe including the ‘ud, from which some scholars think the guitar is descended, as well as Berber drums and the theoretical approach to music from the Persian system. As Spain’s Christian rulers overthrew the Moorish empire in Andalusia in the 15th Century they also began the explorations which would lead to the development of a Spanish empire in the New World, ensuring that the Arabic influence was transported to Latin America.

The Moorish influence lived on in European music, perhaps most noticeably in the Andalusian flamenco style and the proximity of North Africa to Spain’s southern coast has made continued cross-pollination inevitable.

So, the music on The Rough Guide to Latin Arabia is not an exercise in ersatz fusion but a continuation of a musical conversation which has been going on for hundreds of years. Among the most well known tracks on the album are ‘Ya Nour El Ein’ (Light of My Eye) by Amr Diab and ‘Alabina’ by Ishtar and Los Niños De Sara. While these two have proved the massive appeal of Latin-Arabian music among the lesser-known tracks on the album there are plenty of hidden treasures.


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