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Samsara Sound System

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Biography

The Samsara Sound System is among the outfits that has combined ambient electronica with world music in the 21st Century--specifically, world music as in the music of the Middle East, India and North Africa. The brains behind the Samsara Sound System is Professor Shehab, a Brooklyn, NY-based producer whose other world/electronica activities have included the Baraka Orchestra, the Qaballah Steppers, Dubadelic, Elixir and Scarab. For his mostly instrumental Samsara project, Shehab (whose real name is Sassan Gari) recruited several people in 2002, including santur player Alan Kushan and producer Fumio Toshiro. Samsara not only reflects Shehab's interest in Arabic, Turkish, North African and Persian/Iranian music--it also reflects his interest in traditional Indian music. And that's a logical combination of influences because Middle Eastern, North African and Indian music are all part of the modal family (music that involves what is known as modal or scalar playing--an approach that one can easily recognize even if he/she doesn't understand the exact technical meaning of those terms). With Samsara, Shehab has favored a blend of electronic programming and acoustic instruments (which have ranged from the violin and the cello to the daf). Ritual of Carousel, Samsara's debut album, was released on Shehab's independent Baboon Records in 2003. ~ Alex Henderson
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