An example of globalisation sits right in front of us with ‘Dahab’ – an Arab acoustic fusion band where, as described by the musicians themselves, Arabic music, rock, jazz, blues and folk are amalgamated into one sound.
Dahab was formed by Sharif Maghraby and Majed Fassi, who both play guitar and sing and create most of the sound with Adham Sharkawy, who plays percussion. Sometimes they become a 5 piece band with Ashraf Helmi on drums and José Gabriel Matute Vega on bass guitar.
The core trio gathered together in 2004 for Dubai International Jazz Festival. After the festival they continued performing and managed to gain popularity on UAE scene.
‘Dahab’ is a small Bedouin village in Sinai, about 100km North of Sharm El Sheikh. There, the artists can return to nature and have moment of inspiration. As a result – most of the ‘Dahab’ music was written in Sinai. “Spirit of Sinai” was released in 2009, and “Qabeela’h” was released 2 years later, in 2011.
“Qabeela’h”. Yes, you can hear Arabic. And yes, you can hear a fusion of instruments. But when you venture in to vocal tracks like ‘I Am Gold’ – things change. The genuine Eastern atmosphere is awash with English lyrics and a pop-folk sound. There’s a feeling of warm wind on your cheek – but it’s all too safe, repetitive and feels somewhat false. In tracks ‘Time’ and ‘Dahab’, in contrast, you get an authentic experience of Middle Eastern music and it all feels very natural and well, just right – a pleasant dreamy encounter. If you want to be lost in time – this is the right soundtrack for your journey.
My words of advice to the band – take more risks but stay true to yourselves.