Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Era – Era [#430]

Era_Era_CoverEra are another of those bands jumping on the nu-age Enigma bandwagon complete with choral and world music overtones. Indeed, Era (or +ERA+ as they like to stylise themselves) sit nicely between Enigma and Deep Forest.
Not typically a band you’d want to listen to on repeat though. Nice for a bit of a “chill-out” session maybe, or perhaps one of those dinner parties where you intend to show off your collection of African masks and world music to bemused, easily impressed work colleagues. Or perhaps you’re looking for some music for a film set in the gritty hauntological Miami Vice  era of the eighties beset with pink neon, white linen suits and moody beach shots.

Comments Off on Era – Era [#430]

Cocktail from Lebanon – Various Artists [#284]

Cocktail from lebanonCocktail from Lebanon – Various Artists 

Now I’m not entirely sure that this is the name of this album. Nor am I entirely sure that the artists named are actually the artists. See, the thing is, I downloaded this album when I was looking for some Azar Habib and all the files were tagged in Arabic letters.

Back in the early noughties I discovered Flash Animutation. This was a phenomena that took the underground of the web by storm. It was long before the appearance of Facebook and Twitter and when the internet was a fun place to be rather than a chore.  Animutation is where clip art was mashed and animated by artists using Macromedia Flash, often to music and nearly always to foreign music.

One such animutation film, often touted as one of the first, was Hatten ar Din. The song, originally performed by Azar Habib, had been retranslated from Lebanese to Swedish to English and animated accordingly. The results are amusing.

At the time I was going through a Middle Eastern phase. I saw the possibility of the West embracing and absorbing Middle Eastern culture peacefully into its own. Of course, that never happened but I enjoyed eating kebabs, listening to Middle Eastern music and visiting Lebanese restaurants. This is why I have a Lebanese album in my collection.

Lebanese music is different to Western music on many levels. While some sects of Islam forbid music especially instrumental music (which is seen as Haram) there exists a rich tapestry of musical tradition from the regions where Islamic tradition is not as strict. Persian, Jewish, Lebanese and Arabic music is quite relaxing while also exciting and captivating.   This album provides a good snapshot of traditional music from the region.

Comments Off on Cocktail from Lebanon – Various Artists [#284]

%d bloggers like this: