Saturday, October 20, 2007

Восточные Сказки - Russian Pop Music and the Middle East

Sitting in one of my favorite hookah bars in L.A. last weekend, I recognized a song playing in the background. It was called "Temptation" and it was, like everything else the DJ at that club plays, Middle Eastern pop. But it sounded a lot like a Blestyashi song I heard on the radio, called "Восточные Сказки."

Found out later that Blestyashi had collaborated with Persian pop star Arash, whose "Boro Boro" album is available on the American iTunes store. I downloaded a couple of songs and it's good ol' hookah bar music. The title track, "Boro Boro," has been mashed up with Pomeha Sprava's hit "Gde Zhe Tvoi Bumer," and it ends up sounding pretty interesting. Below is Arash's collaboration with DJ Alligator, called "Music Is My Language."



Of course, all the Russian parties here in L.A. feature some non-russian pop, usually Tarkan. He's one of the most popular singers in Turkey and has released a hiphop / pop / club music album in English called "Come Closer." I recommend it if you like that kind of thing. Aparently he's been in a New York studio working on his second English language release, which does not have an official date but will come out on the Universal Latino label.

And many Russian stars besides Blestyashi are influenced by Middle Eastern (Arabskaya) music. "Now That's What I Call Arabia" is a top seller on St Petersburg Dom Knigi's online store (st-p.com) and Kirkorov has done a Turkish-influenced album, "Oy Mama Shika Dam," which caused a little controversy among Armenians (Kirkorov is in fact, half Armenian). The rapper Seryoga released an Oriental themed single, "Mel Sudbi," which was an extra feature on the Dnevnoy Dozor (Day Watch) DVD. Electro pop singer Zhasmin had a big hit last summer with "Indiiskoye Disko," which featured a looped bhangra rhythm against a typical upbeat Russian pop song. All are worth checking out for Russian pop fans, and there are many more examples of the influence that the Middle East has had on Russian popular music. One parody of this phenomenon is the Ruki Vverh song "Devushki Vostoka," which was released on their Konets Popsa/Tancuyut Vse album several years ago.

Below are some mp3 links if you're interested in the Arash/Blestyashi collaboration (this is actually a mashup with the original "Temptation") and the Boro Boro club song. If you have a favorite "Oriental song" of any genre, feel free to add it in a comment and link to a video or mp3 if you can!

Arash & Блестящие Feat Rebecca - Восточная Temptation (DJ Grey mix)

http://www.zaycev.net/download.php?ass=Arash+%26+%C1%EB%E5%F1%F2%FF%F9%E8%E5+Feat+Rebecca_-_%C2%EE%F1%F2%EE%F7%ED%E0%FF+Temptation+%28DJ+Grey+mix%29.mp3&id=75157

Помеха справа Feat Arash - Бора, бора, где бумер

http://www.zaycev.net/download.php?ass=%CF%EE%EC%E5%F5%E0+%F1%EF%F0%E0%E2%E0+Feat+Arash_-_%C1%EE%F0%E0%2C+%E1%EE%F0%E0%2C+%E3%E4%E5+%E1%F3%EC%E5%F0.mp3&id=18004

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