Abaji - Origine Orients
Abaji is at home in the many sounds of the Middle East and South Asia. "Origine Orients" is almost a survey of the deepest soul of several styles from those regions. Whether on bouzouki, sitar, oud or guitar, Abaji provides a constant and comforting dexterity that underlies most of the tunes while not taking away from their emotional impact. This is intimate, celebratory music defintely designed to be listened to in the company of loved ones.
Whether it is the prayerful mourning and slurred percussion of "Desert to Desert," the haunting, solo bouduk basse of "Hidden Soul," or the oddly Cohen-esque dark acoustic folk of "Min Touwwa," Abaji seems at ease in his musical skin. Even on "Rayehh," a slow building cabaret tune, or "Mecaralavenis," song of grizzled hard won joy that might be at home on a Tom Waits record, Abaji wields both instrument and voice with confidence and generousity.
Five languages and a few homemade instruments also help make "Origine Orients" an exercise in inclusion. Abaji claims to have over 250 instruments from around the world, has built a few hybrids of his own, and is still on the hunt for more. This record is evidence of an artist who hears music everywhere, and is fascianted by the instruments and the cultures that produce them.
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