Natacha Atlas Mounqaliba – Rising: The Remixes

Last year, when Natacha Atlas released her eighth LP, Mounqaliba, the Belgian chanteuse was hailed for her return to rhythmic-based music. On Mounqaliba ― Rising: the Remixes, the former Transglobal Underground member returns to her roots, allowing a bevy of producers to transform her sandy beach beats into jagged glass club-bangers. But even as remixers like Beats Antique and Kaya Project decorate Atlas's songs with polyrhythmic snares and plenty of bass-y low-end, nothing on Mounqaliba ― Rising strays from its spiritually textured origins. Syriana's reworking of "Ghoroub," along with Natacha's cover of Nick Drake's "River Man (310 Radio Remix)," are presented almost as literal remixes, leaving intact most of the basic elements ― from instrumentation to pacing. Basha Beats joins Natacha for the album's only new composition, "Egypt: Rise to Freedom," a mix of Arabic chants, sampled news clips, skeletal beats and raw piano that perfectly sums up the far-reaching, open-minded and politically-charged direction that Atlas has once again adapted on Mounqaliba. (Six Degrees)