V/A ‎– Choubi Choubi! Folk And Pop Songs From Iraq Vol. 2


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Sublime Frequencies present a very necessary 2nd volume of electrifying, emotional ‘Choubi Choubi‘ folk and pop sounds from Iraq nearly ten years since the mind-blowing 1st volume. Compiled from cassette tapes and discs found throughout Syria and the Iraqi neighbourhoods of Detroit, Michigan between 1995 & 2000 – when Saddam’s Baathist party promoted traditional arts as part of its secular agenda before the illegal American invasion and the country’s subsequent turn to fundamentalism – it offers a rare and unparalleled survey of the Iraqi spirit and culture most often ignored in western media.

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Choubi Choubi is essentially Iraq’s version of the regionally popular Dabke style and shares many similarities barely indistinguishable to outside ears – from the agonised vocals, oud and keyboards to those amazing machine gun rhythms (often electronic, but commonly made with a unique hand-drum called a khishba) – yet we can also hear a more ornate, diverse difference between these songs and the Syrian Dabkes we’ve heard from Omar Souleyman and Sham Palace’s incredible ‘Sounds Of The Syrian Houran’ volume. Across 18 tracks we’re spun between incredible percussive freakouts to children’s choirs singing fertility songs and amazing live recordings replete with real celebratory gunfire, all making for the most intoxicating and transporting experience.