cairo sound clash

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I am always on the look out for something different, so I was excited when Amy asked me to check out and review the Cairo Sound Clash CD. Cairo Sound Clash is based in St.Louis, MO. and is the music of Spence Harrison. There are 13 tracks and each is between 4-7 minutes long, including a fun little drum solo. The songs have catchy names like: Wall of Doum, Mizmars on Mars, Digital Dervish, and Kung Fu Tabla.

This CD really challenged me, at first. I wasn’t sure if I liked it, and then I hated it, but the more I listened the more I ended up enjoying it. The first time I listened, I was in the car and had distractions, so I was a little indifferent. Although there were parts that intrigued me, I wasn’t paying close attention. I was anxious to listen at home.

When I was able to listen at home I did get a bit nervous when the first measure of track #1 had a “scratch” effect. I thought the CD or my player was broken. Was this an indication of the rest?  This CD is not for Egyptian “purists”. The tracks are very loosely based on Middle-East rhythms; they are more fusion in their execution. The arrangements are electronically produced, using live percussion.
While listening I found myself thinking, it would be better if I could modify this or that.

So I put the CD away for a couple of days, then played it again, and this time I found myself dancing to a couple of the tracks, so hey, I could dance to it. This was good, especially since I am just learning some Tribal Fusion stylings.  I still had some reservations about the entire CD. I enjoyed parts of it, but still found I was editing in my mind. At this point I wasn’t sure what to think.

I waited a couple of days, and listened again, and this time it all worked for me.

I found myself imagining a fusion chorography to “Digital Dervish” and Saladin and I could see a troupe performance to “Mizmars on Mars”. The “Chiftitelli~Cheftidelic” would be a great song for learning the rhythm. Tracks 11 and 12 have a spooky undertone, perfect for a Halloween performance. Each track has a unique sound, yet the tracks are fairly consistent in the stories they are telling. Many of the tracks are simplistic and repetitive, therefore perfect for drills and technique work, especially for the beginner fusion dancer. I think this CD has something for most fusion dancers. As with most music, I think beauty is in the ear of the beholder. I am glad I persevered and kept listening. I really ended up enjoying this CD, and you never know, you may see me venture out and perform a fusion piece to one of the tracks in the future. – reviewed by May el Amar


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