Sunday, 13 September 2009
Culture Musical Club - Shime!
I first encountered Taraab music, specifically Taraab music from Zanzibar a couple of years ago when Buda Musique released two fantastic albums: "Zanzibara Vol. 1 - A Hundred Years of Tarab in Zanzibar" by Ikhwani Safaa Musical Club, a set of new recordings and "Zanzibara Vol. 2 - Golden Years of Mombasa Taarab", a collection of classic recordings from 1965-1975 and then delved more into the music, by back-tracking and obtaining earlier releases. I also watched a great film about the "Queen of Taraab" - Bi Kidude entitled "As Old As My Tongue: The Myth and Life of Bi Kidude".
The Indian, African and Arabic influences in Taraab are irresistible with sweeping strings and the lush orchestral arrangements are hypnotic. The players are usually untrained and they play straight from the heart.
Culture Music Club are one of Zanzibar's oldest Taraab outfits, haivng been around for around fifty years. "Shime!" is more of what you would expect, so there are no surprises here. All nine tracks are great and are a great introduction to the music. But I would still direct you towards the two releases mentioned at the beginning of this review.
For clips of the album go here
Here's a clip of Culture Music Club in action.