Since Ritim Egzotik first appeared on the Portland Belly Dance scene in 2010 they have worked to combine the traditional Arabic, Turkish and Greek music with the raw energy of Classic Rock. Their passion is for live performance and serving the Belly Dance community for which this fantastic music was composed. Ritim Egzotik is a collection of seasoned musicians who strive to honor these traditional Eastern styles, as well as continue their education in both Eastern and Western music. They are a crew of diverse musicians, performing with a variety of instruments such as Arabic keyboards, Arabic Accordion, Turkish Elektro Saz, Built on traditional Middle Eastern compositions, we drift into a kind of hookah haze of Prog Rock with a psychedelic style that still retains the Turko-Arabic beats and melodic scale system [called maqam]Turkish Ud, Darbuka, Riqq, Katim, Electric and Acoustic Fretless Guitars, Violin, and Acoustic Upright Bass. Because of such musicianship their sound can range from traditional acoustic ensembles all the way to modern rock sets. They draw heavily from golden era of Egyptian music and Turkish popular classics from the 1930’s though the 1970’s, and also the folkloric and traditional classical forms of this region. Not much of this music is written properly in Western musical notation so Ritim Egzotik members search record stores and the Internet to find the original source of the music in the form of dusty albums, older audio recordings, or old video footage on YouTube. Western music influences include Rush, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, to name a few. David Reihs is at the heart of the ensemble. He spent four years in Turkey learning the styles and traditions on which Ritim Egzotik is based. As the founder of this unique group he best explains the music: “[It’s] energetic and rockin’, yet swanky, and a bit dark. Built on traditional Middle Eastern compositions, we drift into a kind of hookah haze of Prog Rock with a psychedelic style that still retains the Turko-Arabic beats and melodic scale system (called maqam).”
Ritim Egzotik performs with the best local and international Middle Eastern Dance Artists at festivals, concerts, clubs, and private parties in the Pacific Northwest.