The Audiotopia Returns.

Greetings, and warm welcomes for those visiting few who have returned back to these surroundings again after what appears like a forever spent away from Blowgtown.

This blog has witnessed a hush for the last 9 months or so, because generally, blogging about music has become a pain in the bum for most active bloggers. To wit, my MediaFire accout was sabotaged on more than one occasion, and a handful of files were annulled for no good reason whatsoever.

The rage-waves felt across the whole of the Internet
as many similar closure-and-censure stories took place, like what happened at Bodega Popwere evidence enough that there was a conscientious, schematic plan to get rid of all active, file-sharing music communities on the web. Many websites were severely stricken like Mutant Sounds.

Well, I guess I stayed an on-looker all through that stretch of time, looking ahead as I knew that there's still so much to give and show the avid music ethnosiast when it comes to sharing my love of Middle-Eastern music. All in all, it wasn't easy to get back to the blogging-stone due to some busy schedule, life's dues to pay, and a roster of other things.

But, here we are again.

Allow me to introduce to you two of the coming 'double-feature' artists (both male singers), whom are going to be the subject of my next post here on The Audiotopia...

Salem Allan.
First, we will be introduced to a Bahraini singer, or more so... a 'howler' (or, naham in Arabic), named Salem Allan.  This 'toothless' singer; who went blind at the end of his life due to singing itself, was known as the best sea chanter and pearl-diving song-leader anywhere in the area known now as The Arabian Gulf. His legacy is still honoured by fellow Bahraini artists who mixed his songs into new beats and modern melodies, but still the soul of that singer lingers on and on. Also, he was featured (along with his fellow co-singer, and fellow naham Ahmad Butabbaniya) in one of UNESCO's Collection series called, 'Chants des Pêcheurs de Perles' - Bahrain, Fidjeri: Songs of the Pearl Divers.

Singing and harmoniously clapping pearl-divers
on-board a wooden ship in the Arabian Gulf.
Through our first 'come-back' post, I am going to present you a detailed introduction to a very obscure world of music from that oil-rich area of the world little known outside a handful of academic textbooks, let alone spoken or documented by the locals themselves of such über-rich countries and states as Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. The music itself is insanely rich in styles and can vary from the mundane, danceable 6/4 tunes, to hypnotic, chant-a-longa hymns very much like those found sung by Buddhist monks in the Tibet. The information will be detail-heavy, and very all-inclusive. Actually, this is going to be the main post about pearl-diving songs and hymns explaining Salem's music in unprecedented detailedness.

Sudanese singer, Kamal Tarbas.
Next on this double-feature is going to be a hark-back paid visit to the wonderful land of Sudan to hear a complete collection (like the post for Abd Al-Aziz Abu-Daoud, so Sudanese music collectors like Gerrit at LolaRadio take heed, please) of almost every song sung and recorded by one, Sudanese amiable singer during his still-active career: The singer's name is Kamal Tarbas, and he's known for his 6-meter long famous mega-turban (or, âmmah) and classic debonair sense of sartorialism. He's a well-built man who's a bit over-weight that stood in front of his enchanted audience banging softly on a thin tambourine, or what's called in Sudanese, el-rīqh. Such a sight, really.

Tarbas singing in the 90's.
Controversial at best, Tarbas' music is still well-revered throughout the Republic of Sudan even after he started singing alongside a band of shayyals (the antonym of a back-singer; these are 3-4 'fore-singers' who clap copiously to the lead-singer's song), in the mid-90's. There will be a couple of his cassette-albums available for download, plus a huge comp for his songs (Oud/Orchestra) which will contain 170+ songs, in addition to an hour-long live-set that he played called 'An Hour With The Oud', on Sudan's National Radio (Izza'at Al-Bath Al-Soudani). I am sure those who love Sudanese music will really enjoy this coming post.


What's left to say, but a thank-you for being loyal fans of music and Middle-Eastasic tunes right here on the 'Topia.

Guys, be well and stay tuned as soon...

The Audiotopia returns!

Bye bye.



LolaRadio said...

Welcome back, Hammer!

Hammer said...

Hello, Gerrit. Hope all's well on your side of the world, ma friendo.

Yeah, it's wonderful to be back with more tunes, especially ones from Sudan. The Kamal Tarbas tribute is, I am sure, one that you're going to enjoy. The hour-long oud music album of him singing to a minimum accompaniment of any singers alone is just amazing, I am listening to it daily now for the past few days.

Add to that the rarely-seen-on-the-web voices of pearl-divers and songs and you have a good, double-header re-ignition spark that must take me back to the unpaved blogging road in no time, soon.

Enjoy all the time.



Anonymous said...

Dear Audiotopia,

You're the best!

Craftypants Carol said...


Mr Tear said...

Welcome back man. Looking forward to the new posts...

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back!

David said...

Oho Sudanese music for an hour+? Frustrated waiting already & I only just read your post! Welcome back!!

LolaRadio said...

Ya Sahby! Kaif? Kullu tamaam? sahha qwais?
ila fusha saidah
alaik barakat fi

Hammer said...

Tamam wallahi. Daer sh'nou ya zoul?

Lol. Good Arabese/Sudanese there, Gerrit. I know, I know procrasturbating as usual, but I swear I was a bit busy the last few days and had major computer problem (infected with a virus from my iPod), so I had to reformat it. It was a slow process.

Anyways, Kamal Tarbas' post is coming up soon, as soon as I hit the 100K limit of visitors: it gives me something to celebrate in this place, or so I planned it to be. So, yeah very very near. I had it almost all bundled up: just need to write it as a whole.

Gerrit: your website is becoming the mecca of all world-music fans. That's filling the cup right there, so yes, prozit, my 'beeredren'.


Humbly yours,


Anonymous said...

Bismi-Llâh ar-Rahmân ar-Rahîm.
As-salât wa-salâm 'alâ Sayyidinâ Muhammad wa 'alâ âlihi wa sahbihi.
As-Salâm 'alaykum wa Rahmatu-Llâh wa Barakâtu-H.
In one week it will be one year since you made this announce...
When are you going to drop that knowledge?..