An exotic, beautiful belly dancer swirls about on stage. The only object sharing her spotlight is a lone silver laptop which pulses in sync with her slithering movements. Such is the imagery that Tunisian-born Jean-Pierre “Smadj” Smadja’s music always brings to my mind.Smadj is an oud player who fuses his exotic instrument with layers of global-beat and electronic textures resulting in music that sounds both ancient and completely modern. One of my favorite tracks from him is the mesmerizing “Sel (Naum Gabo Remix)”. This all-instrumental track lays down a hypnotic Tangerine Dream-style sequence line and then flavors it with a variety of textures and Smadj’s excellent oud soloing. Listen to the sample and see if it doesn’t sweep you away into an exotic locale or the closing credits of an international spy thriller movie.