Genetic Drugs

Drum and Tribe Cyberjam, Vol. 3: Oriental Breakbeats

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The third volume in the globetrotting compilation series Drum and Tribe Cyberjam features contributions from dance artists of various persuasions from North Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East, many of them in remixed form for added polyethnic funkitude. Few of these artists will likely be familiar to American ears, though Natacha Atlas is a relatively well-known name in the Western Hemisphere, and her gorgeous "Moustahil" is, unsurprisingly, one of the album's highlight tracks. Elsewhere a Portuguese DJ samples the Moroccan Orchestre Andalou alongside Egyptian vocalist Hassan del Asmar, mixing the various elements up with a spare reggae beat to create a dark and dubwise ambience; Faudel, the French Prince of Rai, contributes "N'Sel Fik," which gets a jittery drum'n'bass treatment; Kabul Workshop offers "Trigana Remix," a nifty minor-key instrumental built around the sound of Khaled Arman's rebab and embroidered with breakbeats; and the Rootsman puts in an appearance with a lovely East-meets-West Indies fusion number entitled "Destiny." There's one misstep: Momo's rhythmically boring and overlong "Digital Garab." Otherwise, the biggest problem with this compilation is that, at over 70 minutes, it's nowhere near long enough.

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