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Yasmine Hamdan: Al Jamilat review – dreamy Arabic electronica from an underground hero | Musique Non Stop

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Yasmine Hamdan: Al Jamilat review – dreamy Arabic electronica from an underground hero

(Crammed Discs)

Once a member of the Beirut duo Soapkills, Yasmine Hamdan enjoys cult status in the Middle East, thanks to her cool, electropop songs with Arabic lyrics. In the west she is less well known, despite her contribution to the Jim Jarmusch film, Only Lovers Left Alive. But that could change with this intriguing second album. The obvious comparison is with Algeria’s Souad Massi, and opening track Douss starts off like a Massi favourite, with its blend of gently melodic acoustic guitar and languid, husky vocals. Then the electronica and other instrumentation eases in, helped by subtle production work from Luke Smith and Leo Abrahams. There is a dreamlike quality to songs such as Balad and Assi, and a Middle Eastern edge to the title track, based on a work by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, or the atmospheric Cafe, the best track on this adventurous set.

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by Robin Denselow via Electronic music | The Guardian
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