Thursday, September 21, 2006

Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman {UK-Egypt} [1990] @256 (Superb World Music, Highly Recommended)

The album "Songs from the Victorious City" was a very pleasant surprise for all us in 1990. Anne Dudley was well known for being the brain behind the futuristic Techno-Pop act known as Art of Noise. On the other hand, Jaz Coleman was the mind that controlled Killing Joke, a fierce and emblematic post-punk band with a corrosive sense of humour and a good dose of political sarcam.

But, hey, don't let those facts mislead you, both musicians have, believe it or not, a very solid academic formation. Dudley is nowadays a respected composer (with a bunch of great film scores in her resume, and with the position of Composer in Association for the BBC Concert Orchestra) while Coleman has shown his skills as an excellent arranger and producer for several national Orchestras (His work reformatting Pink Floyd's music for orchestra in the album "US and Them" is not only superb, but far better than the feeble David Palmer's previous arrangements. Highly recommended, by the way)

For those not aware of such impressive achievements, an album like this, done by two "Extravagant Pop" musicians, seemed very unlikely. This kind of unexpected album is what makes us seek, buy and collect albums.

The story is simple. Dudley and Coleman traveled to Cairo in 1990 (for Coleman is wasn't a visit but a return, he had studied in the Cairo Conservatory) and there they gathered a huge amount of musical information to create a work that aimed to reflect both branches of the city's traditions: Ancient Egyptian Civilization and Islam. With the help of extraordinary local musicians and The Cairo String Ensemble they recorded the album and then went back to London where it was edited and mixed.

The result was one of the masterpieces of World Music and , arguably, one of the best albums of the xxth Century)

In these days, when Middle Eastern culture is so ill-understood an album like this is a joyful multi-cultural experience that deserves to be heard carefully. It is an eye opener. A window to the glory of remote times.

"Songs from the Victorious City" is the celebration of history seeded in the soul of modernity. It is powerful, trance inducing, exotic to the extreme of making you dream of desert nights, disturbing belly dancers, abrassive sand, brave travellers, sensual and deep euphoria.

One of my Top 100 list.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

Keep Listening...!!!

Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman - Endless Festival...


Jaime Antonio Alvarez said...

This is the link to this marvelous album

Coffee Messiah said...

Who knew that circumstances beyond our control would take this region of the world over, and stop many of us from traveling there?
I'm sorry I did not go years ago, but hope the future gets brighter and that people will take their so called christianity, whatever they want to call it and simply "accept and get along!"

Thanks for sharing this, it's great!!! Cheers!

admin said...

O my... this truly is a marvelous album!
If you got the time, please do and listen
to my egypt themed song at

I have a long way to go...

Art Rock said...

Thanks once more for posting such rare music!

Anonymous said...

Any chance of this album being reposted please ?

I had the album years ago, but unfortunately we had a house fire and it literally went up in smoke.

I would really appreciate it.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey, could you reupload the album?

maney7 said...

could you reupload the album?

uberbelly said...

Please, please please...I never even knew this existed...

love your blog! I cannot believe how much great stuff you have here


isabelbc said...

new link

uberbelly said... are simply awesome!
thank you so much.

Post a Comment