Album: Various Artists, Arabesque 4 – Arba'a (Mo'zik Records)

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The Independent Culture

Rather than there being a law of diminishing returns operating with this fourth in an always fascinating series, this is the best one so far.

It's worth noting that while one might expect the bonus remix CD to contain the more adventurous material it's actually the "classic" songs on the first CD that are the most gripping. Mariem Hassan's track sounds like a faster and funkier Tinariwen but with a female lead vocalist (what more could you want?) and Gaada Diwane de Bechar's track is stripped-down Algerian blues that happily seems to go on forever.

Pick of the Album: 'Habibi' rocks like a camel with sunstroke

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