Friday, January 10, 2014

Dhafer Youssef Bird's Requiem Sony Okeh 2014

An ambient acoustic journey that pushes the boundaries of world music into the next dimension.
Brent Black /
Oud.jpgAnd now for something completely different...Dhafer Youssef is a Tunisian Oud player. For the uninitiated the Oud is the Middle Eastern forerunner to the guitar.
Youssef is also a formidable vocalist and composer and as all of his skills come together there is an amazing harmonic transference of lyrical precision. Genre is not a consideration in attempting to put a critical tag on music that simply stands on it's own artistic merit. Middle Eastern flavor with third stream direction and a deceptively subtle western based improvisational flair.
Music for an imagined movie is how Youssef describes Bird's Requiem. While there are moments of sweeping grandeur and impressionistic vision, this is music that attacks the cerebral front of the listener with an open ended interpretation encouraged. Similar labels have built a health business on the manipulation of sounds and silence but none come close to the end result that has been achieved with Bird's Requiem which is a recording of textured nuances and indescribably beauty.
A personal almost conceptualized work drawn from life experiences, this is perhaps one of the finest representations of true world music that can find a unique cultural adaptability on literally every continent. Some works require very little critical analysis. Become a blank slate, allow the spender of lyrical bliss move you into a new realm of thinking about improvisational music. You have to take what you know you like and you know you are comfortable with and move past that.  

Tracks: Birds Canticum; Sweet Blasphemy; Blending Souls and Shades; Ascetic Moods; Fuga Hirundinum; Khira "Indicium Division" Elegy For My Mother; 39th Gulay; Archaic Feathers; Sevdah; Ascetic Journey; Whirling Birds Ceremony.