Hamid Baroudi – Caravan II Bagdad (1001 Nights Mix)
From Hamid Baroudi – Caravan II Bagdad
Released on TanTric Records, 1990(?), Germany
This series could probably have gone on for ever, but I like to make things look balanced, and for some reasons, there’s nothing that look more balanced to me than a series in four parts. I’m more of a four parts than a three parts person. Let’s say that is the final station in our journey in the euro house zone, then.
The scenario might sound familiar: a member of a commercially successful band trying to achieve success by himself, a debut single that blends musical trends from the year 1990 and Hector Zazou somehow showing up in the equation.
In this case, the band is the German ethno / fusion / new wave act Dissidenten. Though it might not be remembered for being one of Germany biggest selling rock bands, this descendent of Munich’s musical institution Embryo sure helped popularize on European airwaves a rock sound that incorporated elements from non European genres. Dissidenten has been extremely active throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s and we already mentioned the band in a post about Egyptian singer Mohammed Mounir.
And in this case, the dissident member is Hamid Baroudi. Born in the Algerian city of Tagdempt, Hamid Baroudi moved to Germany in the mid-eighties after a stay in France, where he became a vocalist for Dissidenten for 6 years. At the turn of the decade (the 1990’s) he made a solo debut with a record on which he applied the ethnic-pop formula to a burgeoning genre, euro house.
Here, one may expect to read some ironic comments about typical mistakes an artist might do when trying to make a shift towards a trendy genre, that he doesn’t totally understand (when it comes to house, there are hundreds of examples). But no, Caravan II Bagdad is an excellent song by many aspects. It reflects a subtle and complexe approach to the genre, the musicians comprehending new sounds in commercial dance music with great intelligence. It’s an original composition that somehow succeeds in avoiding clichés. While the original mix goes straight to the point (being a solid competitor to Army of Lovers‘ eponymous hit) the 1001 Nights mix excels thanks to a blissful production and an overall restraint. It’s slow, infectious and extremely evocative, reminding of some of the best moments in Blade Runner‘s soundtrack – a quality that cannot be only explained by the involvement of a personal hero of mine, Hector Zazou (though, it’s not clear whether it’s a cover from a Hector Zazou song, or an original composition).
Sorry if you were looking for some irony here, but I have to say that I’m pretty happy to round off this series without a hint of cynicism !