Mahmoud FadlView in iTunes
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Born in 1955, Mahmoud Fadl began his musical career not playing, but as a limbo dancer in Egypt at wedding celebrations -- both Egyptian and Nubian -- the culture that was his, but which had been lost as families were evacuated for the building of dams. His Nubian ancestry was important, coming from the Battikol people. A naturally talented percussionist, he developed his ability in orchestras in Assuan and Cairo, where he grew up, gradually becoming a sought-after player, performing with acts like Ali Hassan Kuban and Ahmed Adawia. However, it wasn't until he moved to Europe that Fadl really became established as a solo act and a master drummer, leading ensembles, and exploring his ancient Nubian roots with the Drummers of the Nile. Like Kuban, much of his career has been dedicated to exploring the old Nubian rhythms, even pairing them, at times, with more modern drum'n'bass beats. However, he's also gone beyond that to put together Umm Kalthoum 7000, a tribute to the great Arab diva. But it's indisputable that his heart is firmly in Nubia, a place he returns to musically on most albums. Now based in Berlin, he remains active in many scenes, not the least of which is United Nubians, his tribal-house project. Apart from his own work, Fadl has guested with the Klezmatics and several others. ~ Chris Nickson