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Designed as "a conduit to ecstasy," Africa North is an aural ascension into realms beyond the ordinary. From Moroccan Said Chraibi's elegantly orchestral "Andalusian Oud Music, Parts 1 & 2" to Mahmoud Fadl's Egyptian-tinged percussion on "Maqsoum" to the Sudanese and pan-African inflections of vocalist Setona, Africa North showcases the intermingling of cultures and sound born of the seventh-century Muslim invasions. These Islamic songs feature oud (lute), drums, oboe, and strings as well as a light smattering of electronic sounds. They descend in spirit from a rich oral tradition from teacher to student and guru to disciple, bearing stamps of the musicians' forebears as well as their distinctly original signature noting this time of radical change in the face of tradition. Exotic and heavy with fervor, Africa North is a journey well worth making.
--Paige La Grone (Amazon.com)
Available digitally only as full album.