Various Arabian Travels 2

Producer Robert Duskis follows up the first compilation titled Arabian Travels, which was released in 2001, with another collection of ambient dance music marginally blended with Arabic, Maghreb influences. While its predecessor showed some notable tracks by Banco de Gaia, Dzihan and Kamien, Karsh Kale and Euphoria, the present release falls far short of Six Degrees’ usual attempts at eclecticism. Eastenders, the moniker for German DJ Stefan Muller, whips up a moody bass line on "Tender" that holds the track up in a way that the first half of the compilation fails to do. Tories, Mercan Dede and Makyo amongst others, simply deliver nonchalantly chill out sounds running well into six or seven minutes, which become exercises in tedium. The second half offers a few slightly redemptive moments from down-tempo Kaya Project's "Twin Soul,” with a female vocalist sounding rather like Turkish singer Sezen Aksu and Samsara Sound System's percussion focused "Gatha.” Listeners interested in dance music constructively employing Arabic, Moroccan, Egyptian and other regional influences would do better to pick up older albums by Transglobal Underground and anything by Natacha Atlas rather than this watered down, mediocre effort. (Six Degrees)