Among many of the contemporary musicians of Egypt, there is strong love for the musical traditions that run deeply in the country, and while some appreciate this music and let it be, others choose to incorporate it into more modern styles. This is the case with Taksir Sharqi, a Cairo ensemble that combines the sounds of zar, mawwal and other defining elements of Egyptian folkloric music with elements of funk and rock.
Started by Ahmed Omran, Walid Abdou and Amin Shahin, Taksir Sharqi is based on a foundation of oud, guitar, bass, percussion, and accordion. Also, a distinctive element of their sound is the arghoul, the traditional double reed wind instrument that casts a primordial sounding nasal buzz over everything, eliciting trance in the listener. On some tracks, powerful mawwal vocalists sing over their interwoven jams, and on some songs joined by local zar diva, Um Sameh, of Makan regulars Mazaher Ensemble.
Their songs range from bouncier and cheerful tunes, to a slow, moodier and more introspective sound. The percussionist engages a diversity of drums, chimes and shakers to lay down rhythmic texture. They perform regularly at Makan Cultural Center.
Taksir Sharqi takes the audience in palm, traversing a range of atmospheres and sonic environments. Next week, they will be at Cairo Jazz Club, alongside local Sudanese singer, Asia Madani.
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