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Album Review

Hossam Ramzy and Phil Thornton have had an ongoing collaboration for years, melding Thornton's new age bent with Ramzy's Arabian (and really, Western percussion) skills. On Egypt Unveiled, Ramzy and Thornton's first outing for Ramzy's ARC label, the pair recruited a set of fine musicians in Cairo and powered through some modern music with an Arabian feel. There are hints of synthesized rai strings in pieces like "Pharaohniest," wild wailings of mizmars in "Planet Egypt," and a thick rock beat returning from time to time across the songs. This isn't authentic, traditional music — but it isn't meant to be, either. Perhaps surprisingly, the artists show some restraint in the compositions, utilizing excellent players but avoiding the squishier areas of new age that ethnic crossover albums are so susceptible to. There's perhaps nothing particularly new in the album (especially considering the Ramzy/Thornton collaborations of the past), but it's a fine atmospheric listen nonetheless.

Biography

Born: Cairo, Egypt

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Egyptian native Hossam Ramzy is the leader and chief percussionist of Pharaoh's Egyptian Ensemble, best known to Western listeners as the backing group featured on Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's No Quarter tour and album. Ramzy began playing the darabouka (Egyptian tabla) at a young age, much to his father's dismay. He moved to Saudi Arabia as a teenager, learning his craft while supporting himself by playing trap drums for radio and television programs. In 1975, he moved to England to study jazz...
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Egypt Unveiled, Hossam Ramzy
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: 01 January 2011

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