KARiM NAGi
MUSICIAN . FOLK DANCER . DJ . ORATOR

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RHYTHMATIQ (2012) : Rhythmatiq is a collection of Arabic rhythms, drum solos and traditional genres, updated with an urban relevance. Using vocals, melody and remix, Arab musician Karim Nagi develops individual rhythms into complete songs. Each piece can stand alone or be assembled with others to make a "playlist" or dance performance set. An Arab rhythm chart is also included with the CD.

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The pace, attitude, and style of a culture are all found within its rhythms. When listening to the rhythms of the Arab world, one can often hear the flowing demeanor, the complex ideas, and the balance between being both energetic and meditative. One can feel the pride unconquored by hardship. One can hear the Bedouin impulse for freedom, interrupted by The Regime. One can also use these rhythms to visualize the landscape of flowing dunes, interrupted by urban sprawl. Through rhythm, the soul of the Arab is illustrated; it is a portrait as succinct as a trance, and as intricate as dance.

RHYTHMATIQ is a renewal of these traditional Arab rhythms and musical genres. The drums are all played with the delicate filigree of classical finger work, yet still strong and forceful. Each of the 15 tracks has an ensemble of hand drums, voices, and urban soundscapes. Scatting vocalizations, reminiscent of the Indian bol rhythmic singing, are added. The "Dum Iss Tak" and incantation of the traditional rhythm names create an identity for the otherwise abstract sounds and strikes. It allows the listener to be passively educated, remembering the traditional rhythm without losing the groove.

Remixing, DJ soundcraft, and sonic quoting help complete the rejeuvanation of elder rhythms. The tradition is rebirthed, with a strong gene, and tools for survival. The innate acoustic character is bolstered by the modern sonic ethic. A skin drum, a human voice, and a digitized analog melody all compute into a rhythmic formula. This arithmetic is the math behind RHYTHMATIQ. The beats create a body action, and the equation yields Dance. Each "Dum" pushes the hips and legs, each "Tak" pops the chest, arms and head. The melodies create the enchantment needed to inspire the mover. The sum is the rhythmic celebration of a culture.

Karim Nagi: Rhythmatiq

ARABIZED (2012): The newest CD by Karim Nagi is as much a commentary as it is music. After 20 years of performing Arab and World music, Nagi confronts westernization, and offers an antidote. ARABIZED is an exploration into the East's ability to affect other music and culture. The CD opens with "The Mash of Civilizations" (watch video), a verbal incantation with an international score. In "Spring Arabized", "Barber of Saudia", and "Mozart Tabla Arabiyya" Karim Nagi adds rhythms, new intonations, and performance dynamics to the European classics of Vivaldi, Rossini and Mozart. He creates a natural breed between Mexican and Arabic cockroaches in "MexicArab". He travels pan-Eastern for the Shanghai melody of "Raqs Yao". He adds extra slang and slink to "Low Rider" by War. He ignites the shoulders and shrills of a Bedouin-Bhangra wedding in "Nedda Nedda". And he offers the 7 part melodic homage to the Egyptian 2011 Revolution in "Flying Heavy for Egypt". Guest artists include flautist Alesha Herrera, Arab instrumentalist Michael Ibrahim, and the Calmes String Trio. ARABIZED uses transnational music to make a single message of tolerance and unity. This is not a conflict, this is the Mash of Civilizations !!

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Karim Nagi: Arabized

UNREGULATED (2010): The long-awaited sequel to "Belly and the Beat", and "Overdrive" is finally here. The Drumming Mixmaster returns with the first Turbo Tabla CD since 2006. Egyptian rhythms, ethnotronica, belly dance and trance unite. Together they yield an Arabized hybrid of Bedouin Dabke, Saidi Hip Hop, Punjabi fusion and Italian Overture.

Turbo Tabla has the unregulated muse to fuse. This album, like the predecessors, still boasts the power and lyricism of Nagi's signature Arab hand percussion style. He sings with the drums, going beyond the fads of athleticism and flashery, and focussing on articulate phraseology and addictive rhythms. Renewed Folklore finds its way into most pieces, including the Upper Egyptian funk of Aminti Billah Turbo, the Lebanese line dance mosh of Fayyah Mandilik Turbo, and the tribal Iraqi hoedown of I Raq Yee. The passion for India continues with the Bhangra-meets-Bedoiun layers of Dark Coal Eyes and reprEyes, and the Bouzuq crossover of Nour iZen. But the most exciting and globe shifting tracks come "Arabized". An elevating reversal of Westernization takes place in Mozart Tabla Arabiyya (watch video) and Spring Arabized, where the melodies of Mozart and Vivaldi get very sandy, eastern, and 'cymbalic.' And the TAKalicious Drums give a fresh and clever version of the perpetually needed Raqs Sharqi drum solo. "Ah Ya Salam" !!

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Turbo Tabla: Unregulated

EVERYBODY YALLA (2009): Karim Nagi is a traditional Arab musician who reimagines his culture within the most international and progressive expression. He employs traditional Arab instruments, songs and themes, while evolving them into current, or even futuristic, performances. He has an authentic acoustic dexterity, as well as an excitable electronic skill and awareness. This CD is a succinct summary of his varied styles and songs. It icludes his modern Turbo Tabla creations, his traditional work with Sharq Ensemble, and his innovative percussion solos. It also features the track from his music video Everybody Yalla, which was first broadcast on Arab-language satellite music stations.

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Karim Nagi: Everybody Yalla

RHYTHMS FROM AROUND THE ARAB WORLD (2008): This fourth CD in a series sponsored by Nourhan Sharif was created for drummers and dancers alike. The goal is to show the great variety and diversity found among the different regions, countries, and genres of the Arab world. This recording introduces rhythms from five major geographic regions of Arab world: the Gulf "Khaligi" (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, and the Emirates), Egypt "Masri", North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), Iraq, and the Levant or Arab East (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Jordan). Two rhythms from each of these five regions are performed. Several genres are covered, such as rhythms for vocal music (Sowt, Jurjuna), rhythms for group line dance (Dabkaat and Chobie), rhythms for spiritual rituals (Hadari) and rhythms for wedding ceremonies (Zaffa). When listening to this recording, you will begin to experience many concepts in Arab rhythm found in varying degrees, such as syncopation, swing, and polyrhythm (especially among the Gulf and North African samples). By using strong drumming with the Riqq, Tabla, Dhola, Duff, Bendir, and Karakab, each rhythm is given the strong propulsion necessary to create song and dance routines, as well as simply for practice. This CD will demonstrate both the diversity and unity among the beautiful rhythms found within this huge array of countries united by the same language and culture.
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THE BELLY & THE BEAT (2006) includes 14 new recordings. Each song utilizes the rich and evocative beauty of traditional Arab music. Authentic instruments are used, performed by top instrumentalists and performers. Yet each song is recontextualized into the Techno, House, Hip Hop and Asian Massive genres. The songs utilize heavy and tight dance grooves, bass lines and soundscapes. The result is a "Turbo Tradition" where the classic sounds of the East are bolstered for the dance floor. Several sonic and musical themes are conveyed in this new CD. There are two other pure drum solos compositions: Stonecutter, a multi percussion feast with a techno pulse, and Banaat Turbo, a more traditional yet creative acoustic solo with very lyrical rhythms. Two songs, Tahteeb Diesel and Saidi Song, have a distinct Southern Egyptian "Saidi" sound complete with Rabbaba (spike fiddle), Nay (bamboo flute) and Mizmar (Egyptian oboe). There are three Vocal songs including the Arabo-Andalusian House mix Imlal Ilaqdah, the Mawal and Jungle excursion Ashoof Jamal, and the powerfull and slamming R&B future classic IRROUH. Samai Aryan is a reconstructed hard-hitting version of the most famous Classical Arab instrumental composition to date. Zaarathustra and Naseeb are dark and frantic Tribal songs. And a new direction is forged with Asian Massive-inspired IndiArab and Multiple East, where Karim's facination with Indian music is explored.

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REVIVAL - Wasla Hijazkar and Wasla Bayyati (2005). The SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble is composed of Arab Americans. The group specializes in traditional Arabic music, as it was performed for hundreds of years in the royal courts, art houses and concert halls of past Arabic kingdoms. SHARQ maintains this lost tradition and renews it with the vitality of modern musical acumen, perspective and expertise. SHARQ was founded in 1998 by Egyptian percussionist Karim Nagi. In 2002 the ensemble added Syrian oudist and musical arranger Kareem Roustom. The ensemble has performed all over the USA in concert halls and festivals. The SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble is dedicated to preserving and presenting traditional and classical Arabic vocal and instrumental music. Their repertoire is one that is rarely played by even the most dedicated professionals in the Arab world. SHARQ chooses vocal and instrumental pieces that illustrate the rich and buoyant possibilities of the genre, without fixating on the popular or commercial versions. SHARQ seeks to share this heritage through concerts and verbal presentations. Sharq's official website is www.SharqEnsemble.com.

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Sharq Ensemble: Revival

BELLYDANCE OVERDRIVE (2004) is the first worldwide release with the Copeland Group and Distributed by Universal. It exemplifies what Karim Nagi calls "Arabic Music Re-Imagined." Half the album consists of classic songs and instrumentals, some dating as far back as the Andalusian period (822-1492ad). The authentic instrumentation includes the Tabla (goblet drum), Oud (lute), Nay (end-blown bamboo flute), Qanun (96 string lap-harp), Riqq (fish skin tambourine), clarinet and vocals. The difference lies within the arrangements and production. The heavy dancefloor grooves and basslines of modern Techno, Hip Hop and House music bolster the music. Unlike most modern DJ/Producers, Karim did not cut and splice from old recordings but instead re-recorded the songs in their entirety with new musicians. The sonic quality of the CD is comparable to all current dance albums on the market. Listen to these songs.

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ADVANCED RHYTHMS FOR THE ADVANCED DANCER (2004). This CD is third in a series produced by Nourhan Sharif and the Egyptian Academy of Dance. In this instructional CD, Karim performs the complex rhythms extracted from the classical Arabic vocal tradition of Muwashahaat (Andalusian poems put to music) and adapts them for dance. Karim verbalizes each rhythm, performs them at 3 speeds, and follows up with a classic song example that uses each rhythm. Karim provides a full and dynamic sound with Arabic Tabla, Riqq, Segat, Dhola and Bassdrum. By introducing rhythms like Samai, 'Awis, Aqsaq and Muhajjar, Karim seeks to expand the dancer's vocabulary and rhythmic repertoire. Sample songs IntroductionDrum Solo "Ya Haggar".
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CONCERTS - ARAB PAN EASTERN MUSIC LIVE (2004) This CD features the solos and accompaniments of Karim Nagi, an accomplished Riqq (Arab Tambourine) player, band leader and event producer originally from Egypt. This CD is a collection of live performances from concerts produced by Karim. The tracks feature some of the strongest Artists in America including the Sharq Ensemble, Yousseff Kassab, Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian, Abdul-Wahhab Kayyali, George Ziadeh, and Karim's PanEastern Ensemble (which includes Arab, Turkish, Chinese, Indian and Iranian musicians and singers). This CD also features some of Karim's signature Riqq solos, and his intuitive accompaniment style. Song styles include classical Arabic Adwar, Muwashahaat, Samaiaat, Longaat and Armenian Folk. Sample songs Longa Riad w/ Abdul-Wahhab KayyaliRiqq Solo (fr. Sharq Wasla Saba).
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ARABIC MUSIC RE-IMAGINED (2003) is the debut release of Turbo Tabla. The music is a hybrid of Arab and Turkish traditional music, bolstered by Techno, Hip Hop and House grooves. Producer, DJ, Dancer and Drummer Karim Nagi re-records classic songs with live musicians and authentic instruments (Oud, Nay, Clarinet, Buzuq, Qanun, Arabic Tabla and Riqq) while expanding the sound with Electronic music. This CD features performances by great Arab and Armenian musicians like Bassam Saba, Mal Barsamian, Jamal Sinnu, Saeed Khoury and singers Albert Agha and Hayet Ayad. This CD was a pioneer in the Arab Techno category, and has been choreographed to by numerous dancers in North America, Latin America and Europe. Sample songs AzzizaTurbo ZaarArasseya
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