RC 239: Afro-Arab Part One – Cellphones & Icecream

Recently I’ve been checking out what has been called Electro Chaabi (or Cha’abi/Shaaby/Cha3by/mahragan aka ‘festival music’), the new-ish underground hiphop/pop music in Egypt, which led me back to the show I planned after going to Egypt and South Africa in 2011. In fact this music wasn’t new to me, it was all over Egypt blasting from the shops and phone places off a laptop. My queries where to get it or buy it were met with baffled looks and the response ‘mp3!’ and even 2 years later still it’s underground, not played on the local radio and usually performed live or traded in MP3s.

I had to make do with some rather too-shiny and western-style Egyptian pop music, and some local South African house/electro music usually hiked up to silly prices cos I was a tourist. I wasn’t really happy with it, hence not doing the show then.

But when I read the Quietus articles about the scene it also lead me to the Congo via Konono Nº1, Omar Souleyman and back to Sahelsounds who I originally planned to play some of ‘Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol 1‘ back then, but Vol 2 and some other compilations such as Nigerian Bollywood music have been released, and it makes for a much more interesting 2-part show!

So follow me from the Middle East to Africa, the Egypt to Syria, to Nigeria to Mali and South Africa…

Leave Your Camel After The Tone (1:01, 62Mb)

  • Amadou & Mariam – La Réalité
  • ? – Saraa
  • Elbab – Elgedeed4
  • Konono Nº1 – Paradiso
  • D’Banj – Oliver Twist
  • Omar Souleyman – Dazeitlak Dezzelli
  • Mai Dawayya – Ololufemi
  • Hakim – Telefon Zoghayar
  • Amadou & Mariam – Sabali (Vitalic Remix Radio Edit)
  • Soweto Stokvel Septette – Ice Cream and Suckers No 2
  • Sunny Ade & His African Beat – Ja Fun Mi (Instrumental)
  • ? – Friday (from Music from Saharan Cellphones: Volume 2)

(photo was taken just by Tahrir Square, November 2011)

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