Album: Rango, Bride of the Zar (Voodoo Rhythm)

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The Independent Culture

The dry, muted sound of the tanbura and the frenetic rattle of an array of percussion instruments (including the wooden xylophone from which this Egyptian/Sudanese collective gets its name) produce a bustling, involving backdrop for the sonorous call-and-response vocals.

But what really makes this outfit stand out is the fact that the five-stringed simsimiyya has been fitted with an electric pickup which subtly adds a smidgen of funky distortion to what is otherwise a fairly traditional sound.