Bellydancing Breakbeats

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Banging breakbeats, more banging breakbeats, and plenty of touches of Turkish flavor make up the debut from London-based club band Oojami. There's plenty of Eastern promise and every track starts off hopefully -- the problem is they so rarely go anywhere. While the oud and the ney do their work, they really just becomes slaves to the rhythm throughout. And while this seems to be aimed at a belly dancing market -- a pastime that's been gaining in popularity -- the BPMs here would seem to make it for the very experienced only. On top of that, the vocals on "Chicky" are so full of clich├ęs that they seem laughable, not tough. Necmi Cavli, the man behind Oojami, knows his stuff, there's no doubt of that; what melodies he uses are certainly authentic and "Sitare" offers an intriguing blend of Middle Eastern and Turkish music that begs for deeper exploration. But in deifying the rhythm over all else, he ends up doing a disservice to what could be some beautiful music. As an album for listening, this simply doesn't work because of that repetitive rhythmic reliance. Great for clubs and a guaranteed two inches off the waist for belly dancers, but definitely not for casual listening.

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