Anouar Brahem - Astrakan cafe (2000) [Official Digital Download]

Posted By: HDV
Anouar Brahem - Astrakan cafe (2000) [Official Digital Download]

Anouar Brahem - Astrakan Café (2000)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time - 77:40 minutes | 714 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet

Innovative Tunisian oud virtuoso Anouar Brahem presents this highly-acclaimed album of typically Middle Eastern music, recorded in 1999 with a trio that had been his first priority for several years. The improvisational exchanges between Brahem, clarinettist Barbaros Erköse and percussionist Lassad Hosni are exceptionally fluid and the atmospheres they create here are by turns mysterious, hypnotic and dramatic.

The Tunisian oud genius has done it again. Anouar Brahem has issued only five records under his own name over the past decade, each more adventurous than the last, without compromising his original vision: for the music of his region to meet with the other music of Africa and Asia and create a delirious sound that is equal thirds past, present, and future, along the precipice of historical lineage. For Brahem there is no attempt to synthesize the globe, or even the sounds of the East with those of the West. He is content in his knowledge that sound is infinite, and that his tradition, as it evolves and expands into a deeper pan-African/trans-Asian whole, is more than large enough for a master musician to rummage through in one lifetime. Astrakan Café, the follow-up to his brilliant Thimar, is a smaller-sounding recording that reaches farther into the deep crags of the Balkans. With Barbaros Erköse on clarinet and the Indian and Turkish percussion stylings of the professor of somber precision, Lassad Hosni, Brahem's oud enters into a dialogue, musically, that has never before existed (though he has collaborated with both players previously). Erköse is a Turkish clarinetist of gypsy origin. His low, warm, rounded tones are consonant with the oud. Erköse plays equal parts music of the Balkan and Arab worlds with a tinge of the ancient klezmorim whispering their secrets through his horn. Despite the journeying these musicians do here, they never stray far from the takht, a small ensemble capable of improvising to the point of drunken ecstasy. Listening through Astrakan Café, you can hear the gypsy flamenco tied deeply to Indian ragas and even a kind of Eastern jazz. But there is no hyperactivity in it, no need to cram as many traditions as possible into one putridly excessive mix that expresses nothing but the novelty of the moment. Astrakan Café has many highlights: its two title tracks that have their roots in Russian and Azerbaijan music; "Ashkabad," which is an improvisation on a melody from the folk music of Turkmenistan; "Astara," a modal improvisation based on love songs from Azerbaijan; "Halfounie," a segment from a Brahem-composed soundtrack inspired by the medina or marketplace in Tunis; and "Parfum de Gitanie," which takes a fragment from Ethiopian sacred music, slows it to the point of stillness, and waxes lazily and jazzily over the top, with the oud and the clarinet trading syncopated eights. This is deeply personal, profound music. It is also highly iconographic, with timelessness woven through every measure. The only "exotica" on Astrakan Café is its "otherness" out of space and any discernable era. The tempos are languid and full of purpose, the dynamics clean and clearly demarcated, the tones and modes warm, rich, and linear. This would be traditional music if a tradition such as this – which is original, though adapted from many sources on inspiration – actually existed. Highly recommended.


01 - Aube rouge à grozny
02 - Astrakan café, Pt. 1
03 - The Mozdok's Train
04 - Blue Jewels
05 - Nihawend lunga
06 - Ashkabad
07 - Halfaouine
08 - Parfum de gitane
09 - Khotan
10 - Karakoum
11 - Astara
12 - Dar es salaam
13 - Hijaz pechref
14 - Astrakan café, Pt. 2

Produced by Manfred Eicher. Engineered by Markus Heiland.
Recorded in June 1999 at Monastery of St. Gerold, Austria.

Anouar Brahem - oud
Barbaros Erköse - clarinet
Lassad Hosni, bendir darbouka

Analyzed: Anouar Brahem Trio / Astrakan café

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR13 -0.56 dB -21.00 dB 4:23 01-Aube rouge à grozny
DR15 -5.88 dB -25.38 dB 3:19 02-Astrakan café, Pt. 1
DR12 0.00 dB -17.30 dB 4:47 03-The Mozdok's Train
DR12 -3.50 dB -21.13 dB 8:31 04-Blue Jewels
DR15 -1.10 dB -22.63 dB 3:32 05-Nihawend lunga
DR13 -0.49 dB -19.02 dB 5:38 06-Ashkabad
DR12 -0.45 dB -17.06 dB 5:58 07-Halfaouine
DR14 -1.22 dB -19.69 dB 7:05 08-Parfum de gitane
DR15 -4.77 dB -25.58 dB 3:31 09-Khotan
DR13 -3.98 dB -20.06 dB 5:08 10-Karakoum
DR14 -2.10 dB -21.36 dB 10:47 11-Astara
DR14 -7.27 dB -26.42 dB 3:48 12-Dar es salaam
DR13 -1.67 dB -20.66 dB 6:24 13-Hijaz pechref
DR12 -6.60 dB -22.12 dB 4:49 14-Astrakan café, Pt. 2

Number of tracks: 14
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 1184 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Thanks to the Original customer!

Anouar Brahem - The Astounding Eyes Of Rita (2009)
Anouar Brahem - Souvenance (2014)