2008-03-10The kind of worldbeat that’s on display in Ishumar is one of trance-inducing complexity, where what’s important isn’t where the songs are going, but wherever they are currently. In general, middle-eastern music doesn’t treat melody as something absolute, but only as a guideline, a blueprint that the performer can feel free to modify on whim. This works well when paired with blues, a genre whose own philosophy isn’t that far removed from the middle-east’s. Ishumar is primarily a fusion of these two ideas, and the result works quite well – unpredictable and varied Arab vocals sit atop bluesy bass and guitar lines, lines that are just as likely to change at any moment as the vocals are. Ishumar isn’t perfect (the songs sometimes stretch on for too long), but it’s definitely worth listening to, if for nothing else than to witness how well two seemingly unrelated genres work together. – Adam Goran
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