Berlin has long been a hallowed center for culture and music. These days, the up-and-coming group Nomad SoundSystem underscores how Berlin is still such a hub—albeit now a brilliantly multiethnic and vibrantly cosmopolitan meeting ground for artists and sounds from all over the world.
Since coming together just four years ago, Nomad SoundSystem has already played alongside such kindred spirits as Rachid Taha, Nitin Sawhney, and Transglobal Underground—all of whom groove to an urbane beat. With members from Germany, Tunisia, Japan, and Algeria, the group injects high-energy dance-floor rhythms with echoes of music from across the globe, from North African raï to the energy of hip-hop.
On their recent, self-titled debut album, Nomad SoundSystem demonstrates their witty worldwide wandering on tunes like “Atarishi,” in which a traditional Japanese koto skitters across a surface of Balkan brass, all fed by a one-drop reggae beat. Deeply Maghrebi polyrhythms ground the melodic soaring of “Zmen Aalech,” while the anthemic “No/w Peace” blends gritty rock styling with North African vocal arabesques. Their music reinforces just how central Berlin is as a global epicenter of DJ culture.
Copyright © 2007 by The Carnegie Hall Corporation
Anastasia Tsioulcas is a New York–based music critic who writes for Billboard, Gramophone, and Songlines magazines, as well as others.
© 2001–2007 Carnegie Hall Corporation