The Spy From Cairo Arabadub

The Spy From Cairo Arabadub
NYC's Zeb is an old hand at steady rolling ethno-dub styles; he's been cruising along now for some 15 years or so. Arabadub is like a Sly and Robbie album with oud solos. "Prince Ahmed" is exactly the kind of plush dancehall tracks the Riddim Twins were making in the early '90s and the ubiquitous Egyptian orchestral stabs sound like a synth preset of similar vintage. Yet these songs are much better than the first Spy From Cairo album or anything Bill Laswell was able to accomplish with his Material mega-jams. Despite a sameness throughout, as always, deft songwriting saves the day together with soloing that successfully pushes the grooves forward beyond the Spy's debut. "Sons of Hannibal" adds massed vocals to an already complete sound. One could call this record firmly ensconced in the Buddha Bar mentality ― spicy but not threateningly so. However, as poppy world fusion goes, this one is a cut above most. (Wonderwheel)