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Album Review

Mohamed Mounir is a multi-talented man. Not only a good composer and singer, he's also forged a career for himself as an actor in Egypt. But it's the music that's on show here, his individual take on Sufi songs from Egypt and Sudan filtered through the Nubian musical sensibility that's been his focus. The results are more than satisfying, from the aching "Madad" to the decidedly wonderful "Absheru Ya Shabab," which merges the Nubian funk of an Ali Hassan Kuban with the influence of Prince. While some tracks can go a little over the top, like "Allahoo Ya Allahoo," others, like "Ashraka Al Badru," are perfectly rooted in desert soil. Of special interest is the German version of "Madad," much more stripped down — voice, the traditional qunan (a hammered dulcimer), and the accompaniment of an oompah brass band — and more magical than it sounds on paper. Appended for good measure are instrumental versions of three cuts, which work well and bring out some different aspects, like the complex rhythms backing "Salli Ya Wahab Al Safa," for instance. An excellent record.


Born: 10 October 1954 in Aswan, Egypt

Genre: Arabic

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Mohamed Mounir has been called "the best Arab singer of the twentieth century." Although he began his career as an Arabic performer, scoring with his somber hit "Ellayla Ya Samra," Mounir has increasingly focused on original compositions based on the Nubian music that originated among the displaced Nubian people living in Southern Africa. A self-described Arab Egyptian, Mounir has resided...
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Earth...Peace, Mohamed Mounir
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