Various Artists – Khat Thaleth EP (Stronghold Sound)

Khat Thaleth brings together the poetic and musical skills of artists from several regions, including Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Iraq. Several traditional elements are incorporated in these tracks including classical folk tunes and instruments, reinforcing the connection to the regions they are from. Most songs begin with an oriental-sounding backbeat followed by the artists launching into an explosion of lyrics. The lyrics are all in colloquial Arabic, each using a different dialect. This album is an example of the creative ways in which people are using artistic and cultural forms of expression in order to expose the corruption of formal politics. Issues range from crony capitalism to the conspiracies and exploitation of the people by their local rulers. Even if you don’t understand Arabic, you can hear the tone of cynicism towards local and global politics in this music. – Katie Cunningham, April 2013

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