TBR: 17th January 2020
Four dance classics find their way to the forefront as Tunisian sound experimentalist Deena Abdelwahed returns with a brand new EP. With leftfield foundations and a keen ear for the unusual and unique, Deena Abdelwahed recovers natural elements of her homeland and puts them on a global stage. Dhakar itself is a word that means masculine in Arabic, and according to Abdelwahed, this work takes this notion and puts it into a varied sonic address. Producing tracks which fit snugly into the repertoire of many genres of DJ yet all carry traditional elements of Tunisian sound makes this release an interesting and compelling edition.
It begins with an almost tribal drum rhythm. Percussion sounds with bass and high end qualities surge forward with a bouncy tempo. Steel pans and shaking bells rumble alongside forest sounds of wildlife and brushing branches. The instruments layer in, merging their timings with the consistent pulse. New angles of intention are inserted as various tones and sounds make the progressive composition. Then, a vocal breaks in which momentarily pushes back the music. A rhythm, a tone, and a voice to give Lila fi Tounes a human direction. Gradually the rhythm section builds up confidence and begins to take control of the music again.
Next, sampled vocals bring us the inside of a vibrant room. We feel like we're sitting among individuals with a great social atmosphere. Strange sounds then penetrate the rapport which soon incorporate a slow beating drum. This quickens alongside various electronic pulses and clatters which eventually form a consistent amalgam of tempo. Odd projections of sonic direction fill awkward spaces in the temporal flow. Human voices distil and bubble on luminous surfaces, charged with electronic intent waves. Ah'na Hakkeka takes us deep into a rhythmic world of intellectual cannons of rhythm and samples of distinctive sound.
Insaniyti begins with a distinctive drone instrument. It hums along with a static tone which vibrates and resonates along its straight line. Then female vocals begin a chant with handclaps and additional drums. A male line follows before the women chant again and the drums move into the next gear. Deep and resonant pans strike toneful beats in a slow and snaking rhythm. An air or eastern allure decorates the passing bars. The music builds and flows, and as the dynamic shifts, the static rhythm spends a few moments alone with its thoughts. Insertion of melody seeps in a flow of progressive charm that brings the music into another dimension of sound.
Finally, Zardet Sidi Bagra opens with a quicker and invigorating rhythm. A quick tapping tubular drum plunges a bass-line through sloshy cymbals and abstractions of percussion. This begins to shift in pitch, bringing an element of rhythmic melody to the piece. Kinetic beats revolve around humming sounds which decorate and enliven the ever-growing selection of beats. Gradually, the track builds and becomes an insistent drill of percussion and tone which focusses in on a small point. The space opens out again like an expanding universe. If light has to travel at its given speed no matter what space-time is doing, it has to have somewhere to go. Maybe this is why when we look at the entire universe, its most distant point is expanding at that speed. Just a thought.
You can find Deena Abdelwahed on Bandcamp
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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