I enjoyed the last “beginners guide to bellydance” album(s), in fact the whole series is generally good value and a handy introduction, however as before this one goes way beyond being just a good introduction, and has a great selection of tracks, well grouped on the three, yes three, different cds.

I’m a dance teacher and I’m often looking for something a bit interesting which isn’t the same old bellydance pop to use in class and this is awesome for that.

The oriental CD snakes its way around some beautiful tracks, some strongly traditional in their sound, others moving more to the club area, tho nothing too cheesy/drab pop at all, it’s all classy in it’s own way. It’s evocative of sinuous, heavily scented nights, of ripples and tucks, some with a sleek cabaret mood, some more gently influenced by folk, but all fresh and up to date in the mood of the world of bellydance now and tomorrow. Just the ticket for the elegant bellydancer.

The Tribal Style CD has that more folk edge to it, more drums, more repetitive patterns and a hint of the slavic influence, which is so popular lately, slipping in and having a groove with the ladies. It is, as if the elegant bellydancer is dancing a duet with her Eastern European sister.

The Tribal Fusion CD takes a whole new journey stretching away from bellydance traditions but reflecting with class the current trends for burlesque and it’s often germanic tunes, or again other grooving sounds from neighbours and cousins. Klesmer shows it’s face but there’s also some new music from the UK (which is somewhere in the area of hiphop gone folk – an unusually beautiful breed) and some other varieties of high quality music which tend to defy shoving into a single dull box. What it all is is engaging and dancable, but interesting. It’s as if those two dancing sisters went off to party together and yes, had an awesome time at some surreal and alternative venues.

All in all there’s something great about every track on this, triple, yes, for a bit over a fiver, THREE whole albums. Thats 39 great tracks, at this price they’re less than 16p per track, and every one of them has very clearly been carefully hand picked.

Every one of them is going to be a useful new track introducing a newbie to new areas of bellydance music, or a rich addition to a pre-existing collection. As a clue though it isn’t the same old tracks. I have about 40 bellydance albums, many of them compilations and there are inevitably overlaps. The only overlap I’ve noticed so far in this one is that I already have a couple of versions of Bucovina on a balkan compilation CD.

I love this album and can see it being played just as often as the previous album, which is a lot, and incidentally if you don’t already have that one you should get it too as it’s only £4.99 and is again loaded with gems, just gems of three years ago, where as this one is for today and tomorrow, the zeitgeist of bellydance is shimmying on down on this lovely set.

Oh and it’s a nice looking box which is cool on your shelf too, which is a nice extra touch that someone bothered about the artwork really suiting the music.

All in all excellently good value if you want a variety of music.

Oh and as a last thought, non-dancers should really enjoy it all too, being a great flowing variety, but I dare them to listen to the whole thing and not find themselves moving along to it at some point 🙂

I look forward to Volume three in a couple of years time.