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Music from Israel/Lebanon


The Israeli albums you listed among your favorite 100 albums, are they rock albums or do they sound similar to the music you can hear at a Lebanese restaurant (I've never been to an Israeli restaurant)? I'm actually hoping for the latter, as I love the Lebanese music but don't know what to buy. Perhaps you can help me?

Have you lived in Israel or how did you find these albums?

BTW, the sampled Lebanese woman on Eno/Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is simply amazing!

Re: Music from Israel/Lebanon

Sorry, I've been away from the computer.

The albums by Berry Sakharof, Aviv Geffen and Tractor's Revenge (Nikmat ha-Traktor) are certainly more rock than traditional Middle Eastern music, but especially in Sakharof's later albums there's a strong streak of what the Israelis call "Eastern" (that is, Arabic musical tradition) combined with straight rock and a healthy dose of Massive Attack-like beats.

I got to listen to these artists while working two years in Jerusalem. Aviv Geffen has actually done a number of stints outside Israel, most recently in the band Blackfield, working with Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree.

For the more traditional Lebanese restaurant type of music (which I certainly love too) I think the most obvious artist to begin with would be the singer Fayruz - I think she is rightfully considered the number one popular artist in the Middle East. If you want it *really* traditional, you should try one of the endless number of recordings by the Egyptian diva Om Kolthoum.

Re: Music from Israel/Lebanon

Thanks Snusmumrik! Excellent info!