Al-Nûbatiyya: Chants Et Tambours De Nubie

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For a country that no longer officially exists (its territory is split between Egypt and Sudan), Nubian music receives a fair amount of exposure. This album, recorded live in 1997, showcases Nubian songs about love and, inevitably, nostalgia. The pieces have the unhurried pace of the desert, and follow a formula -- a single lead singer backed up by a mixed chorus and percussion. But, although formulaic, it never becomes boring; there's ample melody in the songs themselves, and the warmth in the voices overcomes any sense of sameness. This particular troupe hails from Khartoum, in the Sudan, and their style is refracted through their more urban environment.

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