Thomas Attar Bellier: electric saz, guiters, keys
Jaouad El Garouge: vocals, awtar, karkabou, tbila, bendir, claves, caxixi, cowbell
Guillaume Théoden: bass, sub bass
Nicolas Derolin: darbuka, daf, bongos, bendir, shakers, saget
Paul Void: drums
Middle Eastern psych-rock collective Al-Qasar’s debut album is an explosive mix of heavy Arabian grooves, global psychedelia and North African trance music.
The band calls it “Arabian fuzz.” Brazenly electric and deeply connected.
Guests include Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) and Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys).
When continents collide, they make a thunderous sound. Al-Qasar create the soundtrack to that fission on their full-length debut, Who Are We? It is music for a world in flux, with its ancestors deep in the past, but something that could only have been born in the 21st century. Arabian fuzz, they term it, a vision that’s brazenly electric and deeply connected to its roots.
But it had a definite starting point.
“Al-Qasar was born in the Barbès neighbourhood of Paris,” explains band leader Thomas Attar Bellier. “I’ve lived in Los Angeles, Paris, New York, Lisbon… I wanted to start a project that was in tune with the daily life of people living in these international cities, something diverse, radically colourful, with a fresh, contemporary outlook on what societies really look like today”. The musicians came together, from France, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, and the United States. Shows followed, first in France, then in Europe and the Middle East. They put out an EP, the widely-lauded Miraj, recorded in Cairo. In the same time frame, Attar Bellier collaborated with the likes of Emel Mathlouthi and Dina El Wedidi, two of the most exciting names in contemporary Arab music.
Work on Who Are We? began in December 2020, with Attar Bellier composing eight tracks that writhe and roar in skilfully controlled chaos. Bass, drums and traditional percussion create a deep, irresistible groove for the foundation, while electric saz and guitars build a wailing wall above, with Moroccan....... więcej