Ayeshteni

Ayeshteni

by Natacha Atlas

CD

Overview

The fourth solo album from former Transglobal Underground vocalist and belly dancer Natacha Atlas continues her march from campy Semitic sendup to serious Arabic artist. While her debut has its pleasures -- Arabic rapping, some Sephardic Jewish tunes, big club beats, and the Liz Taylor inspired cover art -- Atlas has since positioned herself as an Arabic artist working in the Levantine vanguard, as opposed to a U.K.-based singer trolling in the exotic. It's a strategy that has paid off -- Gedida, her previous album, established her as a superstar within France's Arabic community. Ayeshteni rides that wave, recorded entirely in Cairo and focused on the Egyptian pop rhythm known as chaabi, it's the smartest and best-recorded of its class. Swelling strings straight out of the Cairo film orchestras' heyday stab at the percussion-rattled air, through which floats Atlas's ever more virtuosic singing. The occasional turntable scratches and wah-wah guitar add a funky millennial twist but never overpower Atlas's Oriental mystery. A pair of notable covers -- Jacques Brel's "Ne Me Quitre Pas" and Screaming Jay Hawkins's "I Put a Spell on You" -- are fairly naked attempts to broaden her market, but her particularly outrageous reading of "Spell" does the trick. "Soleil d'Egypte," produced by French ethno-punks Zebda, is a cinematic drum 'n' bass dub number; "Mish Fadilak" is Club Med fodder with its insistent lovers' groans. Atlas and her longtime Transglobal producers walk a fine line on Ayeshteni, but the results are worth it: artistically solid, musically inventive, and ultimately entrancing, this could be Atlas's biggest record yet.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/08/2001
Label: Imports
UPC: 0609008102428
catalogNumber: 899444

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Natacha Atlas   Primary Artist
Essam Rashad   Oud
Larry Whelan   Clarinet,Saxophone
Hamid Mantu   Drums,Keyboards,Voices
Timothy Whelan   Organ,Guitar,Piano
Tamer Ghoneim   Violin
Medhat Abdel Samie   Violin
Hani Farahat   Violin
DJ Awe   scratching
Mohandiseen Male Voice Choir   Background Vocals
Taha Taha   Cello

Technical Credits

Natacha Atlas   Adaptation
Nitin Sawhney   Remixing
Essam Rashad   Arranger,Producer
Hamid Mantu   Programming
Tom Rixton   Engineer
Timothy Whelan   Programming
Yehia Abdallah   Contributor
Zebdal   Producer
Mika Sabet   Producer
Mohamed Kly   Contributor

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Ayeshteni 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There's a lot of different sounds that you have to aquire to listen to. For example: Someone from Western culture would listen to this album and wonder what's going on with the harmony and where is the rythm taking them. But once you get the hang of listening to this interesting combonation of harmonies, you'll love it. Her voice grabs your heart and shakes your soul.