As Far As (Fra)


rovi.MR0000418938 6/17/03 New

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Review Text As Far As: A DJ Mix is the first mix-tape from the semi-elusive DJ Cheb I Sabbah. The basic concept is to explore a full range of music from around the world. A basic bit of beat juggling is used for the transitions, but other than that, the music is largely untouched by Sabbah. There are a couple of remixes here, as DJ Cheb retouches bits from new age guru Paul Horn and avant-garde trumpeter (and friend of DJ Cheb I Sabbah's) Don Cherry. Other songs included come from the full circle of the non-Western world. The album starts out on an Asian flavor with Solace, Najma, and the Asian Dub Foundation providing pieces. A Paul Horn tune, and an original work from DJ Cheb, move the album toward a Middle Eastern sound and then into a North African vibe; followed up with pieces from Toires, Natacha Atlas (with an Egyptian ballad); Makale (with some Arabic rap); and Gnawa Impulse; all continuing the North African flavor (an important aspect of Algerian-born DJ Cheb's repertoire). After a piece from Trilok Gurtu makes the transition towards Sub-Saharan Africa; Guinean Sekouba Bambino turns the direction steeply with a collection of South African artists,who round out the African leg of the album's journey. Don Cherry's work pulls the album back toward the subcontinent where it started; and an original from DJ Cheb brings it full circle. Regardless of the country of origin of the various artists, there is an underlying pulse that continues its line throughout the album. It's one of the few places where Gnawa traditional music and free jazz can be united with a dance sensibility. For those looking for the fusion of European dancefloor and world music, this isn't a bad place to start. Worldbeat has always promised a good dance/house source; but few capitalize on it to the degree that DJ Cheb has here. ~ Adam Greenberg

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