106

Dhafer Youssef: Digital Prophecy

Javier AQ Ortiz By
Published:
Views: 6,628
Dhafer Youssef: Digital Prophecy
The genesis of Digital Prophecy is diaphanously cinematic. With flowing dramatic ardor, “Diaphanes” exudes a strong oud aroma. It’s earthy, simple, relaxed, and suggestively enhanced with dripping and aerial electronic effects from Eivind Aarset, who also gleams on guitar. As Yoda would say of the crescendo caravanesque march of “Aya”—which first exhibit the leader’s haunting Arabic vocals—“Rich in melodic, rhythmic, chordal and harmonic subtleties, insinuated in sensual Middle Eastern over and undertones an album this is.”



Dhafer Youssef frames Islamic Sufism as a leading motif for a musical exploratory meditation of an avant-roots nature; which is to say that he navigates progressively, technologically and culturally advanced paths on ancient Arabic musical, jazz, rock and electronica beat trails. The recording isn’t, however, a three steps forward—into futuristic maelstrom—with two steps backwards—into musical archeology—dance. The Norwegian supporting cast enhances Youssef’s Arabic by befitting his Middle Eastern soundscaping aesthetics rather expertly. They, however, are 21st Century bound and therein lies some of the beauty of this particular type of musical synthesis.



The ensemble playing, as well as the soloing in “Sparkling Truth,” illustrates such claims rather well. Bugge Wesseltoft’s sensible piano playing, with the tasteful and steady backbeat of Rune Arnesen’s drumming, aligned so finely with Dieter Ilg’s single noted and cool bass grooves—as well as the always opportune and beautiful guitar and electronic work of Aarset—are both infectious and effective. The leader, on the other hand, shows mastery as an improviser in the oud, with precise and clear intonation, great dexterity and technical facility, aided by passionate feeling. Thus, their performance in the aforementioned composition is the type of music that can be easily remixed for club dance, although it’s quite a bit more than a transposition of amicable grooves with trance possibilities within a march-like linear logic.



“Seventh Heaven Suite,” featuring the enigmatically named N.P.M. on trumpet—out-Truffazing Truffaz—is an energetic gem, just as much of the meatier carvings of this recording are.



Visit Enja Records on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Diaphanes 2. Aya (1984) 3. Dawn Prayer 4. Sparkling Truth 5. Ysamy 6. Holy Breath 7. Seventh Heaven Suite 8. Wood Talk 9. Holy Lie (Empire D'Ivresse Suite) 10. Flowing Water

Personnel: Dhafer Youssef: Oud & Vocal. Eivind Aarset: Guitars & Electronics. Ronu Majumdar: Bansuri. Dieter Ilg: Acoustic Bass. Rune Arnesen: Drums, Programming. Bugge Wesseltoft: Piano & Keyboards. Jan Bang: Beat programming. N.P.M.: Trumpet.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Enja Records | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Birds Requiem
Birds Requiem
Okeh
2014
buy
[no cover]
Birds Requiem
Jazzland Recordings
2013
buy
Abu Nawas Rhapsody
Abu Nawas Rhapsody
Jazzland Recordings
2010
buy
[no cover]
Live At Cully Jazz...
Jazzland Recordings
2008
buy
[no cover]
Live At The Bath...
Jazzland Recordings
2007
buy
Glow
Glow
Material Records
2007
buy

Dhafer Youssef Events

Date Event Time Tickets
Oct27Thu Dhafer Youssef
Sala Radio
Bucharest, Romania
20:00
120, 150, 180 RON

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google banner ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Fund All About Jazz's Future