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Album Review

Atlas, Natacha – "Gedida" – [Mantra Recordings]

aarbor   5/26/2021   CD, International

Natacha Atlas spent her childhood in a Moroccan suburb of Brussels. Her father is of Sephardic Jewish ancestry, and her mother is of Muslim and Christian ancestry. She’s kind of Moroccan by way of Egypt and Palestine. She moved to Britain as a teenager, and went back to Brussels after school to belly-dance and sing in the Arab quarter, then returned to England where she became part of the pan-poly-everything dance-and-world-music bohemia. She started out with Transglobal Underground and then went out on her own. Gedida is from 1998. The range of styles is fundamentally a reflection of Atlas’ musical instincts—she likes color in her music, and so she’ll use any color she has, from anywhere. The music is held together by her singing, which is Arab to its core: Arab melodies, Arab pitch, Arab ways of connecting notes, Arab feeling. AArbor

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