Album: Mahmoud Fadl, For Oriental Dancers (Piranha)

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The Independent Culture

The stereotyped Western notion of belly dance is a degraded version of the Middle-Eastern reality: as dancers all over the world are now aware, this style is about empowerment rather than powerlessness.

Subtitled 'From Cairo with Love', this seductive album brings together some of the best tracks which this master-percussionist has enshrined in several previous albums, with dance styles ranging from upper Egypt to Cairo, and accompaniments from syrupy full orchestra to pure percussion. Trumpeter Samy El Bably and darabouka-player Khamis Henkish co-star, and the beat is suitably infectious.

Pick of the Album: 'We daret El Ayam', for the full-on effect