A soundtrack of Sudan's revolution and the first ever international release of the Beja sound, performed by Noori and his Dorpa Band, an unheard outfit from Port Sudan, a city on the Red Sea coast in eastern Sudan and the heart of Beja culture.
Beja Power! is a living archive of the finest, most heartfelt Beja songs—a six-track portal to another time and place, of melodies long forgotten and never before interpreted by an electric and brass-driven ensemble. Few older Beja recordings were produced. Even fewer, if any, remain.
Electric soul, blues, jazz, rock, surf, even hints of country, speak fluently to styles and chords that could be Tuareg, Ethiopian, Peruvian or Thai—all grounded by hypnotic Sudanese grooves, Naji's impeccable, airy tenor sax, and of course, Noori's tambo-guitar, a self-made unique hybrid of an electric guitar and an electric tambour, a four-string instrument found across East Africa.
A truly ancient community, Beja trace their ancestry back millennia. Some say they are among the living descendants of Ancient Egypt and the Kingdom of Kush. They are even depicted in the hieroglyphics. Beja melodies—nostalgic, hopeful and sweet, ambiguous and honest—are thousands of years old. Yet their sounds are also reminiscent of Dick Dale's 1963 "Misirlou" and jazz great Charlie Rouse's 1968 "Meci Bon Dieu". This album could be 6,000 years, 60 years, or 6 months old.
Along with his Dorpa Band, formed in 2006, Noori's instrumental Beja music forms the latest link in an unbroken chain of an inherited, arresting sound that is local as it is global, a gift of a storied past and the exchanges of the well-traveled Red Sea.
Ostinato Records is honored to bring the nearly forgotten Beja sound in all its nostalgia, sweetness, honesty, and power, recorded and mastered to maintain the warmth of Sudan's signature aesthetic, to your sound system.