Halalium represents the new wave of Arab electronica, from Morocco by way of New York and London. U-Cef keeps it all well rooted, however, with the Maghreb running deep throughout his music and acoustic instruments playing an important part in the sound; the closer, "Gnasaid," for example, is largely acoustic, revolving around the sintir with its flat desert tones. But listen elsewhere and there's plenty of house and hip-hop in the mix (check out "Aalash Kwawna" with its English rap and curious violin playing by an old Arab) and a flamenco influence that pervades "The Moorish Matador." A lot of the disc, however, returns to the Moroccan Gnawa sensibility, as on "Hijra," possibly the most complete piece on the album, which brings together all the elements — the English and Arabic rapping and desert guitar from Justin Adams — in perfect harmony with U-Cef's beats. He takes music into a territory that's new, with the vista completely open and available, and charts a first, exciting course through it. Where U-Cef will take it from here remains to be seen, but the potential is as limitless as the Sahara.