The Darbuki Kings,
Lawrence of Suburbia
(Massive Music, 2008)

The Darbuki Kings are Robin Adnan Anders on percussion and samples and Antonio Albarran on sitar, guitar, bouzouki and laouto (the latter is a larger version of the Greek bouzouki).

There are many groups that sample world music, including that of the Middle East, but these guys stand out. Most such projects create slow, meditative electronica. The 13 tracks here are lively with complex percussion. Real percussion like tablas, not irritating, fake sounding "beats." A few synths here and there add flavor to the strings and drums.

All the tunes are written by the Kings, although they are grounded in the music of the Middle East, as indicated by some of the titles: "Khartoum," "Timbuktu," "The Silk Road" and "Nile Sunset."

The melodies all have an exotic flavor. They might be played with more percussive flair and have more of a digital sound, but you will still feel transported, as if you are in a gypsy camp or walking in a foreign city. These guys are not trying to be purists, anyway, as you can tell by the CD's title.

This is a fun CD, with a lot of great hand drumming as an added bonus.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Dave Howell

17 January 2009

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