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By Srajan Ebaen
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Zohr "onethreeseven"

Compact Disc Compact Disc: Ark21 168 850 032 2 Compact Disc

Genre: Trance/Ambient with Hassidic and
other Middle-Eastern vocal samples 

  Do you recall Brian Eno’s ground-breaking 1981 album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, a pre-sampling overlay of location recordings that mixed up radio talk-show hosts, Lebanese wilderness singers, preachers and exorcists, Egyptian pop and Sufi chants over endless tape loops? Did you dig the much more recent Deep Forest trilogy, Aral, or the output by Delirium or Enigma? If so, onethreeseven walks your beat in a very contemporary style. Erran Baron Cohan’s Hassidic heritage and love of Jewish cantors and Arab muezzins joins forces with Andrew Kremer’s background in the British acid-jazz scene to produce an album that mixes sacred vocals by the likes of Zahava Ben, Abdel Kadeer, Oum Kalthoum, Moshe Koussevitzky and Moishele Soorkjies with Hip Hop, House and Dance Club beats.

Zohar’s self-professed mission is not to peddle the religious opium of the masses to unsuspecting music lovers that happen to cruise down their pulsating music alley looking for a quick Club House dance fix. Zohar simply hopes to present the vocal richness of traditional Middle-Eastern song that, to their ears, transcends much of Western Pop in dimension and emotional weight. With respect for the source material and an expert touch for underground beats, you arrive at tunes that, minus the dedicated voice, could appear on something like Natasha Atlas’ most recent and very happening Ayeshteni [Mantra 1024] - not frenzied or coldly techno, but simply solid grooves, subwoofer-territory bass lines, re-mix sensibilities and a goodly dose of spicy foreign-ness. Not a novel concept per se, but excellently executed and balanced just right to capture an audience that wouldn’t be too likely to pick out an Ofra Haza, Sezen Aksu, Kazem Al-Saher or Yulduz Usmanova from a record bin.




















































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