We’re coming up to the festive season here in the Mideast and with it are glad musical tidings in the form of a spate of new album releases scheduled for the next few weeks. Firstly, Jordanian rock outfit JadaL are on the cusp of releasing their third studio album ‘Malyoun‘ on the 28th, their first since El Makina was released over two years ago. You can pre-order it from now and hear an advance track ‘Itha Ihna Rohna’.
Cairo-based record label 100 Copies will release the second annual iteration of its eponymous electro-chaabi album in the next few weeks and Europe-based rapper Hamorabi is also releasing a new album on July 7th. He has already released a video for the first single ‘777’.
Early in August the collaborative Hip Hop album between El Rass and Al Nather, ‘Idaret El Tawahosh‘ (The Brutality Administration) will be released via a concert launch in Beirut on the 8th. This won’t be the first collaboration between the two rap stalwarts as they have often joined forces in the past such as on the track ‘Fi Akher El Qesa’ (At The End Of The Story). The track list has already been released and the album will also include appearances by Haykal and Watar Jundi Majhul amongst others.
One of our favourite rap duos ever, Latlateh, which comprises the aforementioned Watar along with Bu Kolthoum, are also plotting things together after a hiatus, but maybe it’s not in the studio where their best work is being cooked up. Serve us up an album after dinner fellas.
There are a lot of instances of regional musicians touring Europe as we’ve covered in previous editions of the Digest, but North America is also a continent not beyond the reach of our eminent musical exports. Mashrou’ Leila wrapped up the final leg of their North American tour in Toronto, a successful whirlwind of dates that took place around the same time as the tragic shooting in an Orlando LGBT club. This moved the band and it’s lead singer, Hamed Sinno, to speak eloquently on issues of homophobia and racism.
Meanwhile, even though Brexit – the decision in which the British chose to leave the EU by referendum – affects first and foremost the UK and the wider European Union, the knock-on effects have reverberated globally. Those in the creative industries within the UK and across Europe have been amongst the most vocal opponents to Brexit. This has even led the London-based independent music magazine The Wire to issue a statement condemning the potential repercussions of Brexit on what they refer to as the “global underground music community”. Describing the exit as “regressive”, the magazine felt compelled to declare that it would reinforce its commitment to embracing “difference and celebrating connectedness.”
Due to its geographical proximity, Europe is often a first port of call for the region’s musicians, a phenomenon one hopes is not adversely affected by the aftershocks of Brexit.
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