Various Artists

Macedonian Bellydance

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Bellydance is probably associated more with the Middle East than with Europe, but it also contains strong, though sometimes overlooked, traditions from the various gypsy populations in the Balkan region. Macedonian bellydance in particular has some distinctly Balkan flavors thrown in, including some additional drones and a heavy reliance on brass sections in combination with clarinets. The saxophone becomes ubiquitous in this setting. Despite being from the Balkans, the reliance on brass combines with a generally chipper mood and melodies and forces a few of the pieces contained herein to sound like something from a stray Herb Alpert album, particularly the pieces from Ferus Mustafov. Worth a listen for those tired of the usual overplayed bellydance music, but come prepared.

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