& now for something completely different...
Niara Scarlett is probably one of the most talented pop writers in the post-80's ex-Smash Hits music realm. She is one-half Mania and her names graces some of the best pop songs the UK has ever produced. Bit by bit however her name is slowly coming foward from behind the songcredits and taking center stage. Her first foray in the blue spotlights was with her mate Giselle in the defunkt pop band Mania.
At first if ya fail, you gotta dust yourself down and reply the lipgloss+glitter fuck me pumps. Niara sure has done that: she's already peaking MTV video charts in some urban outfit.
This is a typical Xenomania track with a bit of a difference...for it includes the legend that is Natacha Atlas. To download the COMPLETE Mania discography including the ultra rare material from the cancelled LP check out the sublime blog, Tip Top Pop. However if you want the Mania online b-side don't download the one on the website 'cause it will get all Mission Impossible on your ass so just head here for the quite delightful rare track: DNA
So who is Natacha Atlas?
Atlas was born in born in Belgium. She is known for her fusion of Arabic and North African music. She once termed her music "cha'abi moderne" (i.e., an updated form of Egypt's pop music). It also includes many influences from styles like hip hop, drum and bass, and reggae. Madonna, Tricky, William Orbit amongst others have said to be avid followers of Natacha Atlas.
Some kind thoughts on Natacha's quite beautiful 2003 release, Something Dangerous...
Endowed with a high, sinuous voice perfectly suited for the serpentine embellishments of Egyptian music, Natasha's focus has long since been to combine Middle-Eastern modalities with modern Dance and Ambient Dub styles, not dissimilar to Bally Sagoo's Brit-centric underground annexation of classical Indian vernacular. On Dangerous, the Club element is represented by Mi Julee aka Princess Julianna, Tuup and Count Dubulah of Temple of Sound. Sinead O'Connor appears on "Simple Heart", the Prague Symphony on the otherworldly opener "Adam's Lullaby". From "rub yourself all over me, it's so addictive" Rap/Dub vocals and slam beats to the synthesized strings of desert lounge; from James Brown's "Man's World" -- made over into a hip-swaying, smokily seductive ode to the feminine gender -- to the slow-mo break-dance attitude of "Layali"; from the rasta'fied riddim jibes of Tuup to "the greatest joy belongs to the simple heart" duet with O'Connor and the gorgeous ballad "Le Printemps" above synth pedals; Dangerous is a cannily balanced release that dances on the knife edge of good taste, MP3 appeal and exoticness.
Her albums, Diaspora (1995), Halim (1997), Gedida (1999), Ayeshteni (2001, Foretold in the Language of Dreams (2002), Something Dangerous (2003) and this years Mish Maoul are all absolutely stunning.
She is currently billed to star in the film Whatever Lola Wants, due to be released in 2007. It will be directed by Nabil Ayouch and co-starring Saïd Taghmaoui.
As of this precise moment DontStopthePop has gone off in a huff due to the absolute crime of Kate Ryan not making the final of Eurovision. Sabotage! Why did the TV shoot to some random foot when Kate's song was about to orgasm!? Why?! Why?! We will be brooding for about a week but when we come back there should be the Part 2 of the Robyn Special and Scooch Saturday ready to go on our return!!!
Posted by SteveGoesPOP! at Thursday, May 18, 2006