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Kirya by Ofra Haza
Released: Jan 1992
Label: Shanachie
This 1992 release was nominated for a Grammy in the World Beat category, and it's not hard to hear why: Haza found a groove here that presaged acts like Natasha Atlas. She pioneered the marriage of the grave, melancholic vocals and stuttering drums of her Yemeni and Israeli musical influences with hip-hop and electronic flourishes, all without sacrificing quality.
Sarah Bardeen

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