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Sawt el Atlas

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Sawt El Atlas (Arabic for voice of the atlas, a mountain range in central Morocco) is a ten-piece band that combines a hodgepodge of styles -- Arabic, rai, reggae, funk, and Latin rhythms. The multi-member group features two sets of three brothers and is fronted by singers Kamel and Mounir. When the group first came together in the late '80s in the French city of Blois, most of its members were only teenagers or even younger. Soon after, Sawt El Atlas began to tour throughout Europe, opening for the likes of Khaled, Cheb Mami, Youssou N'Dour, and Natacha Atlas. 1996 saw the release of their debut recording, Generaliser, while their sophomore effort, Donia, was issued three years later (the latter recorded equally in both Paris and Cairo). With love being the central subject of most of Sawt El Atlas' compositions, the music includes lyrics in both Arabic and French. ~ Greg Prato