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World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa

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Burhan Ocal
New Dream
Doublemoon

By Tom Orr

Published June 27, 2006

Turkish master percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Burhan Ocal and

progressive electronic whiz Smadj have collaborated successfully before, and their latest teaming is a fresh symbiosis of Turkish classical leanings and shadowy techno embellishments. True to the title, many a dreamy mood is conjured up, some with the sensual sweep of Egyptian orchestral music, others possessing a pan-Arabic/Ottoman tartness that Smadj’s restrained programming adds a proper amount of color to. Most of the pieces are instrumentals, though longtime Turkish diva Emel Sayin brings her emotive warbling to three love ballads that add scope and variety. As far as blending old and new, many could learn a lesson from Smadj. His electronic backdrops consistently serve the music and arrangements at hand (largely by Ocal and violinist Volkan Gumuslu), coming forward and laying back as needed and never trying to steal the fire that comes naturally. While the entire disc is a solid combination of grandeur and gizmos, best of all is the undulating final track, “Buyulu Dans” (The Enchanted Dance).

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