Zeid Hamdan: Balekeh (Acoustic)

Unique and rare sounds from the Middle East in a look at the creative publication's current music issue

Hailing from Mauritania, Noura Mint Seymali’s “Tzenni” (the Hassaniya Arabic word meaning “to turn” or “to spin”) is immediately intriguing and alluring. The song quickly morphs into fusion of traditional Moorish griot music, Western pop, blues, even psych-rock—aided by the guitar stylings of her husband, Jeiche Ould Chighaly. Seymali (who began her career at the tender age of 13, as a back-up singer for her …

L’Orchestre National de Mauritanie: Senam-Mosso

Unique and rare sounds from the Middle East in a look at the creative publication's current music issue

Lebanese composer and music producer Zeid Hamdan is behind some of the country’s biggest regional and alternative bands. “Balekeh” is a song from 2011 performed by his band, Zeid and the Wings, from their album Aasfeh. Here, he takes the already soothing pop tune down just a perfect soulful notch with the acoustic version—”with a few ghosts on back vocals.” Beautifully saccharine, the music video …

ListenUp: Brownbook Magazine

Unique and rare sounds from the Middle East in a look at the creative publication's current music issue

This week, we check in with Dubai-based Brownbook magazine in celebration of the mix of “legends and underground heroes” included in their current music issue. In addition to a pull-out songbook featuring sheet music from classic Egyptian songstress Umm Kulthum, the informative issue features the father of Ethiopian jazz, Mulatu Astatke, as well as the co-founder of Seattle’s cult music label Sublime Frequencies, and visits …