Nicky Skopelitis: Tarab




Nicky Skopelitis (guitars)


Ekstasis (Axiom 314-514 518-2)

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Nicky Skopelitis (guitars), Zakir Hussain (tabla),

Simon Shaheen (violin), Jah Wobble (bass), Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste (drum loop), Foday Musa Suso (doussongoni)


Composed by Nicky Skopelitis, Bill Laswell, Jah Wobble


Recorded: New York, 1993


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

This is some far-out shit, man. The bass is vibrating my innards. I feel like I am sitting next to one of those cars in traffic that is really just a subwoofer on wheels. How do those people hear themselves think? The music is dub, Indian, fusion, African, etc. "Tarab," the word, seems to have various connotations in the Arabic world. The most compelling definition is that tarab is a higher level of consciousness that both musician and listener share during a performance. Perhaps that is an achievable state. I am certainly not thinking about anything else when I am listening to this piece. How could I?

Bassist Wobble is aptly named because that is what his bass does. It wobbles in the lowest discernable registers. Electronic noises, synthetic drum loops, the Indian beats of tabla player Hussain, the African strings of Suso and the sonorous violin of Shaheen all mix with whatever the hell Skopelitis is doing with his guitar. This stuff is on a different groove-plane entirely. When you realize that Skopelitis and his frequent collaborator, the ever-divergent composer/producer Bill Laswell, are behind the festivities, you will understand.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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