Alif is the collective sound of five musicians at the forefront of independent music in the Arab world. Conceived in 2012 and taking its name from the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Alif features Khyam Allami (Oud), Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Vocals/Buzuq), Bashar Farran (Bass), Maurice Louca (Keys/Electronics) and Khaled Yassine (Drums/Percussion).
Their self-produced debut, Aynama-Rtama (Arabic for “Wherever It Falls”) is a reflection of its time and environment. Recorded between Beirut and Cairo in 2014, it is a shape-shifting album that twists and turns when you least expect it. From the lead track Holako (Hulagu) – featuring a poem by late Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944-2007) rendered into song for the first time – the band immediately reveal their intention. Louca’s gritty electronic percussion melds with Allami’s rhythmic oud, and builds until the explosion of a driving rhythmic section, backing Abu Ghazaleh’s frenzied Buzuq, leads to a cinematic climax of soaring strings and raging drums.
The album is adorned in artwork featuring a painting by Syrian-Lebanese visual artist Semaan Khawam. His colourful and surreal paintings is combined with the original typography, created uniquely for this brilliant band. --- http://www.nawarecordings.com/release/nawa003/