Thursday, February 8, 2018

New Arabology Podcast Showcases Top 20 (Alternative) Arabic Songs of 2017


The latest episode of Arabology (aired February 2018) featured the Top 20 Alternative/Indie Arabic Songs of 2017--according to an unofficial poll of selected Stanford students and KZSU 90.1 FM listeners.  You can listen to the show below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/top2017



Now in its 7th year, Arabology is a radio program that is hosted by Dr. Ramzi Salti, Lecturer at Stanford University, showcasing music and other cultural productions from/about the Arab world.  The program airs on KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University) and previous podcasts can be found here.

The massive amount of talented musicians from the Arab world who emerged and re-emerged in 2017 made for a particularly competitive chart this year and included fiercely independent musicians and singers from all over the globe, including Muzdawaj (Jordan), Amine Souikra + Khawla Kayour (Morocco), Alsarah & the Nubatones (Sudan), Ahmad Zoubi (Jordan), Mahmoud Badrawy (Egypt), Temenik Electric ft Mehdi Haddjeri (Algeria), Mahmood Jrere and Tamer Naffar (Palestine/Israel), 47SOUL (Bilad El Sham), Blaak Heat (France/USA) Ft Fareed Al-Madain (Jordan), Mirage (Jordan), Hana Malhas (Jordan), Kabreet (Yemen/Germany), Tamer Qarrain (Jordan) Ft Lara Elayyan, Mashrou' Leila (Lebanon) + Hercules and Love Affair (USA/Belgium), Mike Massy ft Malek El Yaman (Lebanon), Emsallam (Jordan), Yasmine Hamdan (Lebanon), Tania Saleh (Lebanon), and Maryam Saleh (Egypt) + Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Palestine) + Maurice Louca (Egypt).

The show also featured amazing instrumentals (which served as soundbeds) by The Spy from Cairo, Rasasawt (ft Kamel Badarneh), City of Djinn, Blaak Heat, Maghnatees, Hello Psychaleppo, DJ Lethal Skillz & Beatlalipos, Abdullah Miniawy, Ramy Mishriky, and Imed Alibi.  These instrumentals will be played in full on a future show.

Here is the list of Arabology's Top 20 Songs of 2017 (starting from #20 and ending with #1) 

Arabology 11.4: Top 20 Alternative Arabic Songs of 2017
Counted down from #20 to #1 Song of the Year (last row)

Chart Position
Artist
Song
Album
Label
Intro Music:  Spy from Cairo “Sahir” from Nothing New Under the Sun on Wonderwheel Recordings
#20
Mashrou Leila + Hercules & Love Affair
Are You Still Certain?
Omnion
Big Beat/ Atlantic Rec
#19
Muzdawaj
Ala Bali (Vocal Mix)
على بالي
Muzdawaj
Khaled Nweiran
Music:  Spy from Cairo “Sirens of the Nile” from Open Sesame on Wonderwheel Recordings
#18
Amine Souikra Ft Khawla Kayour
7ali Ma3ak
حالي معك
The Code
Amine Souikra Ezzanaidi
#17
Alsarah & the Nubatones
Ya Watan (Captain Planet Remix)
Manara Remixed
Wonderwheel Recordings
#16
Ahmad Zoubi
Ghorbeh غربة
Single
Ahmad Zoubi
Music: Spy from Cairo “Open Sesame” from Sirens of the Nile/Open Sesame on Wonderwheel Recs
#15
Mahmoud Badrawy
Mati7sibhash
ماتحسبهاش
 (Acoustic)
Single
Richard Elhaj
#14
Temenik Electric Ft Mehdi Haddjeri
Zakia
Inch’Allah Baby
Nomad Café Production
Music: Rasasawt (ft Kamel Badarneh) “Qalandia Gate” from Music for Checkpoints album
#13
Mahmood Jrere
I’m from There
انا من هناك
Rhythm of the Tribe
أيقاع القبيلة
Mahmood Jrere
#12
Tamer Naffar
Johnny Mashi
Single
Tamer Naffar
Music: City of Djinn “Hakawati” from City of Djin on Somnimage (1:06:02)
#11
47Soul
Mo Light
رف الطير
Balfron Promise
Cooking Vinyl Limited
Music: Blaak Heat “Al-Andalus” from The Arabian Fuzz 7” on Svart Records
#10
Blaak Heat Ft Fareed Al-Madain
Marr El Kallam
مر الكلام
Arabian Fuzz 7”
Svart Records
Music: Maghnatees “Madar (Orbit)” from Maghnatees album  ©Ghassan Birumi (1:23:40)
#9
Mirage Ft Dina Ra’ad Yaghnam
Ghawali
غوالي
Banatalghaim

Mirage Records © K flicks
#8
Hana Malhas
Nasi ناسي
Single
Universal Music MENA
#7
Kabreet
Tefham تفهم
Bidayat بدايات
Kabreet
#6
Tamer Qarrain Ft Lara Elayyan
Let Go!  هلا تركنا
A Call for Joy
 دعوة للفرح
A Call for Joy
Music: Hello Psychaleppo “Bulbul” from Toyour album © Hello Psychaleppo (1:54:25)
#5
Mike Massy + Malek El Yaman
Qalbi قلبي
Single
Malek El Yaman
Music: DJ Lethal Skillz & Beatlalipos “Under Pressure تحت الضغط “ from Iqa3 Mokhtalef
#4
Emsallam (Prod. The Archiducer)
Khanaka
خانك الطرف الطموح
Postcolonialism
ما بعد الاحتلال
Msallam Hdaib
#3
Maryam Saleh
Maurice Louca
Tamer Abu Ghazaleh
Teskar Tebki
تسكر تبكي
Lekhfa  الاخفاء
Mostakell
Music: Abdullah Miniawy “Leaving Munchen” from Ihsan Means Beauty © Abdullah Miniawy
#2
TIED
Yasmine Hamdan
Balad بلد
Al Jamilat الجميلات
Ipecac Rec
Tania Saleh
Happy about Something
 فرحاً بشيء ما
Intersection تقاطع
Kirkelig Kulturverksted
Music: Ramy Mishriky “Intrepide” (Single) on Baci Recordings
Music: Imed Alibi “Solo Percussions” from Salhi album © 2017 Salhi (2:44:24)
#1
Cairokee
Kont Faker كنت فاكر
Noaata Beida نقطة بيضا
Egyptlink

Listen to Arabology 11.4 Podcast (Feb 2018) below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/top2017



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Arabology Podcast (June-July 2017) Ft. Indie Arabic Music + Interviews

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology113

The latest episode of Arabology--which airs on KZSU 90.1 FM in California--featured a large selection of new indie/alternative music from the Arab world (playlist below) as well as interviews with two Tunisian celebrities:  Musician Skander Guetari (3-part interview ft his songs) and Stanford student Nesrine Mbarek who spoke to us about her exciting project titled Tunisia88.

You can listen to the show below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology113



Playlist for Arabology 11.3 (June-July 2017) Artist/Track/Album:

  1. Amine Souikra/ Apocalypse/ Apocalypse
  2. DJ Ghazi/ Oum Kalthoum Ya Leilet El 3ed Remix/ Single
  3. Maryam Saleh + Crash Nomada/ Leih Ya Hamam/ Single
  4. Maysa Daw/ Ayonak/ Between City Walls
  5. Rahim El Haj/ Sailors Three/ Little Earth
  6. Cairokee/ Kont Faker/ Noaata Beida
  7. Mahmoud Badrawi/ Fi Hagat Ktir Mistaniyak/ Single
  8. Jowan Safadi/ 7asait (I Felt)/ Single
  9. Muzdawaj/ Droob/ Sirrak Fe Beer
  10. Ruba Shamshoum/ Randomness (Radio Edit)/ Shamat
  11. Luay Hijazeen/ Kaen/ Single
  12. DAM/ Street Poetry/ Street Poetry
  13. Youmna Saba/ 40-2/ Arb'een (40)
  14. Amine Souikra/ Last Sunset/ Apocalypse
  15. Yuma/ Smek/ Chura
  16. Interview with Skander Guetari (3 parts featuring musical excerpts)
  17. Interview with Nesrine Mbarek of Tunisia88


Arabology is an American radio show that airs on KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University) and is hosted, in English, by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

May 2017 Arabology Podcast Ft Alternative Arabic Music from MENA Region

Listen at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology112

The latest Arabology podcast (May 2017) is now available and includes fresh alternative/indie music from Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, and Morocco.  Listen below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology112




Playlist for Arabology 11.2 (Artist/Track/Album)

  1. Kinematic/ Lalochezia/Ala'
  2. El Morabba3 + DJ Mahmoud Helmy/Cigara Abl Man2om (Deep House Edit)
  3. El Morabba3/ Shiber Maii/ Taraf Al Khait
  4. Muzdawaj/ Yomain/Serrak Fe Beer
  5. Luay Hijazeen /Law Yshoof/ Single
  6. Basel Rajoub/ Bedaya (Start)/ The Queen of Turquoise
  7. Suad Bushnaq/ The Curve/ The Road to Jenin (Soundtrack)
  8. Ruba Shamshoum/ Hana/ Shamat
  9. Samer Rashed/ Swing 25/ Gypsy Rhapsodies
  10. Ahmad Kaabour (Qabur)/ Halawanji Ya Isma'eel/ Ounadikom
  11. Rayan Habre/ Aa Bali Fell/ Taa' Ellak
  12. Mike Massy/ Ma Tfell (Ne Me Quitte Pas)/ Le Délire
  13. Ramy Adly/ Stairway to Heaven (Middle Eastern Version)
  14. Nour Khan/ Layta Li/ Single
  15. Aya Metwalli/ Beitak/ Beitak
  16. Climax (Ft Chafik Elkhourouj + Amine Souikra)/ On My Own (Acoustic Version)/ Climax
  17. Masaa/ Freedom Dance/ Freedom Dance
  18. Kinematic/ Ana Bahr/ Ala'

Arabology is an American radio show that airs on KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University) and is hosted, in English, by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jordanian Artist Tamer Al Ahmar Revives Cultural Icons in Unique Ways

Tamer Al-Ahmar displays some of his art in Amman, Jordan

I first stumbled upon Tamer Al-Ahmar's art when I was in Jordan in the summer of 2016.  His work--showcasing such cultural icons as Fairuz, Sabah, Um Kulthum and Dalida--immediately caught my eye and I resolved to meet this fine young artist who, several months later, agreed to speak with me via Skype about his work and background.

Tamer told me that had been interested in art ever since he can remember and, growing up, initially wanted to be a fashion designer.  In school, his drawings would be displayed and admired by students and faculty alike and he even had a private Facebook group where he drew memorable caricatures for selected friends who urged him to publish his work in different media.

Despite the fact that he majored in Business at the University of Jordan, Tamer always participated in art workshops and became very interested in the digital medium. Here, he credits Professor Alia Nemeh Haddad for recognizing his artistic talent and for encouraging to go further. "I did a presentation for one of her courses where I spoke about my art and she was amazed," he said. "She subsequently invited him to give various lectures about my art in different venues."

Tamer's first professional break came when he was hired by a Jordanian kids' magazine called Kidztimez where he began creating various characters.  "We started with two pages," he recalls, "then it turned into four then eventually I began designing their design cover."  See samples below.

 


His artistic journey then led him to begin immortalizing cultural figures he admired through his unique artistic style. "The first artwork I did was of Asmahan," he says, "and that piece was immediately commissioned by several stores in Amman who wanted to sell the poster. "I then continued the set by creating pieces for Fairuz, Sabah, Dalida, Shadia, Najat Al-Saghira and
Warda."  The set was subsequently displayed in various galleries, boutiques and stores in Amman--a step that solidified Tamer's reputation as one of Jordan's most groundbreaking artists.

Tamer Al-Ahmar with his artistic tribute to Fairuz
The unprecedented--and perhaps unexpected--interest in Tamer's art led him to join Society6, an online platform where anyone can purchase his art from prints and posters to imprinted T-shirts and other memorabilia.  The site offers worldwide service and timely delivery options. See THIS LINK.

Tamer's artwork can be ordered at https://society6.com/tameralahmarart
The success of Tamer's art, particularity the iconic series that initially launched his career, led the young artist to expand his "Diva Tributes" to include such icons as Souad Husni and Samira Tawfiq, as well as new pieces for Fairuz, Sabah, and Wadi El Safi.  He also issued a set of postcards in Jordan which have proved quite successful.

For his next project, Tamer is working on a series of male icons/singers--some of which he has already completed--including his tribute to legendary Egyptian crooner Abdul Halim Hafez,

In addition to his impressing oeuvre in digital pieces, Tamer has of late been working with Director Faisal Attrache on the movie poster for the latter's upcoming film, From the Mountain. "When Faisal saw my art, he immediately connected with me," he said. "We then worked for over two months to perfect the work, and it looks like Faisal will be using as the main poster for the film."

Poster for From the Mountain film, designed by Tamer Al-Ahmar
Tamer Al-Ahmar's art makes for a perfect, unique gift for anyone interested in cultural figures from the Arab world.  I myself just received my Fairuz phone cover--which I ordered from the Society6 website--and I love it!

For more info about Tamer Al-Ahmar's work, see facebook.com/tameralahmarart
To order various items featuring Tamer Al-Ahmar work, go to https://society6.com/tameralahmarart

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Emel Mathlouthi Wows San Francisco (2017)

Emel Mathlouthi at Cafe du Nord, SF on May 16, 2017
Legendary Tunisian singer/songwriter/producer Emel Mathlouthi, whose early songs served as the soundtrack to the Tunisian Revolution and the Arab Spring, performed to a full crowd at San Francisco's Cafe du Nord on May 16, 2017.  The evening was one to remember for a long time to come.

Although this one-night only bay area performance mainly served to promote Emel's latest CD, titled Ensen, the performer did not shy away from singing some of her older hits, including her legendary song "Kelmti Horra"--a performance that brought the house down.


But perhaps the highlight of the evening was the impromptu songs that Emel sang with the audience which seemed quite content to sing along--even in Arabic--while demandeing encore after encore.  One of those priceless moments was captured in the video below where the Tunisian songstress, deluged by requests for more songs, was happy to oblige.

Video Highlights from Emel Mathlouthi's SF Concert: https://youtu.be/5k6mOxc1_kQ



The day following her SF concert, Emel performed in LA--the last stop on her US tour.




Ramzi Salti's Talk: Healing through Lebanese Music (EPIC Fellows, Stanford Global Studies, September 2020)

Watch full talk at https://youtu.be/LzAaUrZEq8k This audio-visual talk by Stanford Lecturer + Arabology program host Dr. Ramzi Salti was pre...