Help me make the best arabic dance party mix ever.
September 19, 2009 1:36 PM   Subscribe

I wanna throw the best arabic dance party in the history of the universe, but I haven't a clue about the music. Can you help?

My girlfriend loves arabic dance music, and I haven't the foggiest clue. I want to throw a surprise dance party for her with the best arabic dance music. In particular, I'm looking for music similar to Nancy Ajram. If you could point me in the direction of similar music, I'd greatly appreciate it. I've already scoured this previous thread, but keep in mind I'm not really looking for rap music. Purely dance music. Thanks!
posted by Freen to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
though I may risk showing my non-worldliness, Peter Gabriel's soundtrack to the Last Temptation of Christ is a good start. Album title is Passion, I think
posted by Redhush at 1:46 PM on September 19, 2009

Raï, originally a folk music style from Algeria, became a huge part of the world-beat dance music scene in the mid-90s. The wikipedia article has a list of lots of artists you could put in or Pandora to get a start. Khaled is probably the best-known of these guys, and his stuff has certainly demonstrated crossover appeal.
posted by dr. boludo at 2:08 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's not Arabic, (it's Turkish), and it's a few years old, but Tarkan has some danceable songs. (Simarik)

has some too, but he's from Azerbaijan (I think he was on Eurovision). (I linked to a weird Russian version of the song but the arrangement is the same as normal- just the lyrics are Russian.)

Natasha Atlas? (slightly more danceable past the intro)

Oojami? (A little more abstract.) (English Turkish)

Ishar (Israeli but sings in Arabic, among other languages)

A nice mellow mix I just stumbled on.

I'll root through my stuff. I'm stuck at about 2003 though, as you've probably noticed.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:12 PM on September 19, 2009

A great 80s classic: Ahmed Fakroun, Soleil Soleil (there's a recently released remix by NY DJ Prince Language that's pretty sweet)
posted by neroli at 2:16 PM on September 19, 2009

Thank you so much for this question. Because of it I just stumbled on an artist who I think is the person on a mix tape someone gave in 1990 and who I had no idea how to find once the tape disappeared. Jad Nakhle.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:18 PM on September 19, 2009

Putumayo's collection "Arabic Groove" might have some cuts you would like.
posted by Sculthorpe at 2:24 PM on September 19, 2009

I pretty much can't not dance listening to some of the tracks on Cheb Mami's Dellali.
Le Raï C'est Chic
posted by hippugeek at 3:06 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Out of the Wikipedia list referenced above, I really like Rachid Taha.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:55 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Now Dance Arabia [year] compilations will have usable stuff on them if you really don't know where to begin. Amazon has them, but only on CD. Not sure about other sources.

Otherwise, let's see...maybe Saad, Tamr Hosni, Hisham Abbas, Hamada Hilal. If the people at your party are mostly American fans of Arabic dance music, you definitely need Amr Diab's "Nour el Ain" and some Hakim, but I hear the cool Middle Eastern kids have decided that's hopelessly 90s now. And do try to get a copy of Fares Karam's El Tannoura.

Memail me if you need more help.
posted by tangerine at 4:15 PM on September 19, 2009

There should be some crossover between what you want and this thread. Where I suggested Omar Souleyman.
posted by galaksit at 6:28 PM on September 19, 2009

Hisham Abbas, Amr Diab, and Samira Said ("Youm Wara Youm" is the most danceable song in the world) = you can't go wrong!
posted by artemisia at 9:36 PM on September 19, 2009

Here's a bunch of Arabic dance songs, including pop along with some dabke and shaabi music (dabke is a Levantine folk dance, shaabi is Egyptian "street music"). Some of these songs are rather old/obvious choices, since there haven't been many recent Arabic pop songs I've liked much. You could try browsing through the Melody TV channel on Youtube to find newer songs, though.

Mohamed Hamaki - Wahda Wahda, Yana Yanta
Fadl Shaker - Ya Ghayeb
Ehab Tawfik - Allah Aleik Ya Sidi
Ragheb Alama - Saharouni el Leil
Amr Diab - El Allem Allah
Mustafa Amar - Monaya
Nawal el Zoghbi - Elli Tmaneito
Nancy Ajram - Oul Tani Kida
Hisham Abbas - Habibi Da (Nari Narein)
Khaled - Didi
Samira Said - Fe Khayali
Nelly Makdessi - Ghali
Melhem Zein - El Sa3a Sab3a
Fares Karam - El Tannoura
Hakim - Nar
Essam Karika - Boleka
Saad el Soghayar - El 3enab, El Kalam 3ala Meen (this guy's songs are really stupid, but they're good to dance to)
posted by gg at 11:43 PM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Maybe not 100% arabic, but you'd be a fool to ignore Nitin Sawhney's Nadia.
posted by Acey at 1:10 PM on September 21, 2009

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