Album Review

Choubi Choubi! [coll] – [Sublime Frequencies]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   CD, International

If the picture of Sally Fields on the cover isn’t enough…
This time the Sublime Freaks are rollin’ ‘n’ Iraqin’ (by way
of Syria, Detroit and elsewhere). Mark Gergis returns to the
driver’s seat (or maybe the passenger’s seat in a taxi), with
a focus on the lurch and destroy rhythm of the Choubi. Very
seductive slithery beat at the core, with screechy fiddle
work or maxxed out keyboards unite for a blaring, glarey sound.
It often has what I can guess is the Iraqi analog to the
Billy Idol 80’s synth handclap except maybe it’s supposed
to be a tabla or ghatam or maybe a submachine gun from an
early Atari game. The vocals are pleasantly pleading, but
those rapid electro rolls make the music seem so much more
insistent. Two basta beat tracks spark the album with their
upbeat bird-darting through a Bollywood movie vibe (and a
larger ensemble in flight with ’em). Dig riding the shifting
#6 sonic sands. Also Ja’afar Hassan stars in his so-called
socialist life on three numbers (& a great insert portrait),
although to me he sounds the most western here. Go figure?
The album ends very strongly with a double Choubi burger
and Hassan in the middle offering a psych lament anthem.
Dedicated to missing Persians everywhere… -Hunger

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