Middle Eastern Fusions/crossovers/rock presents :
Hossam Ramzy

with Phil Norton : CD (1996), CD (1998), CD (2004)
New World M.         Phil Thornton & Hossam Ramzy : Immortal Egypt (Eg/US,1998)**°
 
I mostly look Arguseyed to Fusions categorised within New Age or a New Age label. Suspicious by the title "immortal Egypt" if this came from a depthless vision calling without further meaning ? But no. They used this title because the musicians were inspired by Egyptian music and worked it out on their own way, not just in a desk mixing concept but a reinvention in the studio of the ideas in a integer fusion way. This way the music is still much more adventurous than relaxing. (I must say I still dislike the concept of New Age for just relaxation music without any real spiritual content unless what they acclaim, although such music is very useful as background music without any disturbing aspect). But these musicians (re)invent music, in stead of compiling some vague ideas. The rhythm section is very good. The adaptation is good too. And the combination works incredibly well. The result is much more accessible for "western ears" and in a Western context and environment based upon original Egyptian tunes. All featured artists did a great job. Especially the attribution of Grant Young on bass is very good. Darren Green's didgeridoo combines with it beautifully too on "Derwood Green". Comparing the earlier album "Eternal Egypt", Phil and Hossam's music matured and progressed here a lot !  

This item on a web page at http://www.escape.ca/~sgb/immortalEgypt.html
and at http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/avenue/oi98/titles/immortal2.html
French page about this item with sound file at http://www.plumebleue.ch/pages/discs_pages/immortalegypt.htm
Official Hossam Ramzy web page at http://www.1212.com/a/ramzy/hossam.html &
http://www.hossamramzy.com/ramzyhome/index.htm with pages on belly dancers !!
Phil Thornton page from label at http://www.newworldmusic.com/cgi-local/shop.pl/page%3Dpthornton.html

Not used in my radioshow :

New W.M.        Phil Thornton & Hossam Ramzy : Eternal Egypt (EG/US,1996)

On this CD the synth sounds still lead more than the acoustic rhythms. In that way this project has more lead of Phil Thornton. It's not my preference but it's more or less ok. I think they progressed a lot in the second project.

Also not used but heard as well :

ARC                  Hossam Ramzy : Modern Egyptian Belly Dance (1996)

These is more kind of Egyptian kebab dance music. Not so particular interesting for western standards and crossover tastes. (This webpage more focuses on the crossover field).
New World M.         Phil Thornton & Hossam Ramzy : Enchanted Egypt (UK/EG,2004)***

After two other cooperative projects, from which the last, “Immortal Egypt” (1998) was the most successful, there was an opportunity to work on a third project. Hossam now has his own recording studio in Cairo, so it has become much easier to work on the development of recordings through improvisations, developments, rearrangements and so on, instead of having to finish the studio work in another country as Phil Thornton used to do. Hossam invited a lot of other Nile musicians to work with them. New instruments used are were quanun and magrouna (see links downwards). Phil Thornton played e-bow, electric guitars, vocoder, keyboards, saz, oud, and did midi programming ; Hossam Ramzy played Egyptian and World percussion & midi programming. Other musicians played quanun, kawala, nay, violin, Egyptian accordion, oud, magourna, mizmar, rebab, fretless bass and vocals.

The music is Egyptian, and still compromises a bit with Phil Thornton's approach to rhythms, with some reverb, or typical Western approaches. “Zaïellas” also has a nice Arab strings section. The arrangements and rearrangements were developped this way so that the complete session with tracks fitted better together. In this way the arrangements are quite filled up. The track “From Memphis to Helipolis” with the mizmar flute sounds best like a heated up belly dance. Enjoyable.

Audio : "Apostles Of The Interface","Zailass", "Ali Mama","From Memphis to Heliopolis",
"Nefertari’s Dream ","At The Temple Of Rameses The Great", "On the desert Road to Alexandria"
More audio : http://www.emusic.com/album/10842/10842916.html
or http://www.mp3.com/Phil-Thornton/artists/2342/summary.html
Info on release : http://www.newworldmusic.com/us/product.php?xProd=688
Info on Ramzy (with articles on some bellydancer stars & Arabian music) : http://www.hossamramzy.com

Used instruments :

Qanun : instrument used often in the Middle East. It’s a plucked box zither or psaltery, invented by Al Farabay (950 AD). It has Egyptian roots (where it was called Sabkh), Assyrian roots (where it was called Nozha). The Greek called it the Monochord. Info : http://www.hichamchami.com/qanun_a.htm
Mizmar : double reed woodwind instrument with ancient origin, part of clarinet family. Known as Zurna in Persia, Turkey, amongst the Kurds. Used often at weddings & for belly dances.
Picture of a 3000 year old instrument : http://www.aldokkan.com/music/mizmar.htm
Other picture : http://larkinthemorning.com/images/350/win113.jpg
Info : http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/features/africa/ninsmizmar.shtml
Nay is an Arabic reed flute with breathy sound. Popular in Turkey.
Info : http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/features/africa/ninsnay.shtml
Other examples : http://www.mid-east.com/...
Kawala : Arabic flute. Picture with sounds : http://www.nay-kawala.de/kawalaklang.html
Oud / ud / Aud : ancestor of lut without frets with 10 strings, and one bass string. Known in Egypt as Nefer. Some good pages : http://www.kairarecords.com/oudpage/
& http://oudpage.tripod.com/ & http://website.lineone.net/~david.parfitt/
& http://website.lineone.net/~david.parfitt/history.html
& http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/features/africa/ninsoud.shtml
& http://www.dglenn.org/chords/oud-for-guitarists.html
& http://www.geocities.com/antronig/oud.html
Rebaba /rabab : early form of violin with 2 strings, played upright with bow (see also evolution Afghan rabab into Indian sarod). Page with picture, sound : http://www.africainmusica.org/instruments/inglese/cordofoni/LiutoRabab.htm
& http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/rabab.html
& http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Instruments/Anglais/cmam_c_txt09_en.html
Egyptian accordion : modified German / Italian accordion to quartertone scales of Egyptian music.
Magrouna : Info : http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Instruments/Anglais/cmam_j_txt15a_en.html
Vocoder : kind of wave manipulator http://www.sirlab.de/linux/descr_vocoder.htmlhttp://www.obsolete.com/120_years/machines/vocoder/ & http://www.epiphyte.ca/code/vocoder.html & http://www.vintagesynth.org/index2.html

Other Middle Eastern instruments : http://www.spiritdancer.co.uk/percussi.htm
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