Choubi Choubi – Volume 2
Restocked. In 2005, Sublime Frequencies released Choubi Choubi: Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq, and in the ensuing years it has become one of the most beloved and venerable titles in their catalog. Now almost 10 years later, this highly-anticipated second volume is finally here. Compiler and producer Mark Gergis has once again put forth a revelatory and poignant collection of Iraq's national folk music. What has happened to Iraq since the 2003 U.S. invasion and eventual occupation? Endless death, destruction and chaos, the complete take-down of a functional and sovereign secular government (regardless of your opinion on that government), puppet installations, contrived sectarian divisions, the wholesale looting of culture, rampant opportunism, and apparently no lessons learned — all at the Iraqi people's expense. Naturally, music has continued to be produced in Iraq — however, since 2003, musicians and artists have been consistently targeted and attacked by extremists, who have also bombed music shops and forced the closing of venues and music halls. The musical style most prominently focused on in this volume is the infamous Iraqi choubi, (pronounced choe-bee), with its distinct driving rhythm that feature fiddles, double-reed instruments, bass, keyboards, and oud over its signature beat. Choubi is Iraq's version of the regionally popular dabke, another celebratory Levantine folkloric style of rhythm and line dance. What really defines the Iraqi choubi sound are the crisp, rapid-fire machine-gun style percussive rhythms set atop the main beat. To the uninitiated, they sound almost electronic.