Maurice Louca – Benhayyi Al​-​Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot)

mauricelouca.jpgWhilst I’m in the midst of not really listening to albums an’ ting, I do nevertheless still check the blog feeder, and every now and again Bandcamp do a post where they collect a bunch of albums together with a theme. They did this one dedicated to Nawa Recordings (who released that Alif album that I’m sure you all went and got) and from that I heard this.

This is a very groovy yet dense sonic maelstrom. It features a myriad of influences that I couldn’t begin to list, and also does the middle east/western rock fusion thing in a way that doesn’t feel forced.

Also, I love the title. Are you saluting the parrot?

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The Natacha Atlas & Marc Eagleton Project ‎– Foretold In The Language Of Dreams

220px-foretold_atlasSo I mentioned that I’d been intending to cover a couple of albums from my historic listening, and here we are with one such.

It occurred to me lately that when you listen to something is just as much a factor in how good you perceive it to be as the quality of the music itself, although the latter is of vital importance. The point I’m trying to make is that something that is really good might seem average if you’re listening in the wrong mood, and mood is very often time dependent as well as context dependent. For example, something that really works on a Sunday morning is not guaranteed to make the same spot resonate in the same way if you put it on Friday evening before going out somewhere.

So, this is a good Sunday album, although it’s also a good late night album if you’re in a mellow mood.  I also think it would be good for listening to at work; those spreadhseets ain’t much fun with library office gossip as a background noise. It’s a cross of middle eastern sounds – which I do have a regular soft spot for – with ambient production and atmospheres. It’s nowhere near as uptempo as her usual style, but I do like that too.

I haven’t found a simple one stop shop to listen to the whole thing, and out of consideration for those of you who are suffering with software creep, I’ll not embed every single track from youtube, though here’s the details if you feel the urge to track more down. Here, then are a few tracks:

Zitherbell

my favourite, Yeranos

Etheric Messages

Power of Vibrations

The whole album is worth checking as it’s very chilled.

City of Djinn – Ether and Red Sulphur

citydjinn

It’s just possible that when I’ve said that what I really like is psychedelic music, I may have meant what I really like is music that puts you in a trance. Trance music. But not as it is popularly understood. See, this is the problem with labels…

This is proper trance music, as in, music that puts you in a trance. I’ve been here before with people like Alif and Malayeen, and I also like to think of Hamza El Din in these contexts. This is a much more lo-fi take, as it sounds like it was recorded in one take in someone’s living room, fluffed and flat notes included. But I love it. I hope they do more music, and that I may get a chance to hear that too.

City of Djinn (link is to F***book page, sorry) is two geezers, Marwan Kamel and Micah Bezold, who frequently sound like more. They use a variety of instruments, possibly not at all the same time but then I’ve not seen it, merely heard it. It is a very spacious sound they make; very meditative. But these are not short pieces, so do set aside a bit of time in order to grok this fully.

Alif – Aynama-Rtama

 alifThere’s something about the music made in and around the mediterranean area which seriously appeals to me, from the desert blues of North Africa (some of which I shall bring you at some point) to the wonderful Malayeen who I mentioned earlier this year, and many stops in between.

 The story for this album is detailed on the bandcamp page so I shan’t rehash it here. What I shall say is that I like this album so terribly, terribly much. It obviously sounds like the area it comes from, but there are also hints of Hamza El Din (could be the oud playing) and a certain bluesy feel, reminiscent at times of the why-weren’t-they-household-names Little Axe. Some of the tunes aren’t afraid to incorporate western rock leanings, too. It is yet another album that has me floundering for descriptors, which proves to me that this is the real stuff. I’ve got something brewing about that.

Love the album art, too.