The Lyon imprint Hard Fist strikes again with the collaborative Princes of Abzu EP, federating producers hailing from multiple horizons.
Although they may belong to different geographical spaces (London, Moscow, Amman, Tokyo, Paris…), the artists gathered in the EP share a common love for middle-eastern sounds and their transcendantal powers, which they mix with cosmic industrial beats, creating mystical imaginary landscapes, as if beduins were organising a pagan rave in a Düsseldorf factory. In addition with the producers, many musicians took part in this project, like for instance Mejwez's player Abu Sayah and Hervé Carvalho from Acid Arab who play in Semsemeh.
A hedonist move, caring more about vibes and feelings than borders and nationalities. Referring to a mythological source that is the sea to every river, Princes of Abzu is a drop in a global culture expanding its currents to infinity.
The opening track Place du Pont made by the two label heads Cornelius Doctor and Tushen Raï is built on a heavy hypnotic / electro bassline heightened with voices samples & oriental Oud sounds giving it a trippy flavor.
Halay is the fruit of a collaboration between Parisians Ko-Shi-Moon and Moscovites Simple Symmetry. The track (remixed by Cornelius Doctor) tells the tale of the Halay dancers reveling in circle, exhilarated by an industrial groove while strange synthetic voices whisper.
In the middle of the EP, J.A.K.A.M releases the tension and brings a meditative note. Jazzy yet exhilarating, Tribes sounds like a road trip in the desert while the sun is rising.
Producer and percussionist Shadi Khries is also inspired by the desert, one place in particular : Wadi Rum, in his home country Jordan. He mixes traditional instruments like semsemeh (which gives its name to the track) bouzouki and oud, with electronic acid textures that makes it perfect for the club.
Finally, Timothy Clerkin’s track is a meeting of two his favourite worlds : guitar-based psychedelic music & dark, mechanical acid - all covered with a film of Eastern smoke, hypnotized by the tablas running relentlessly. Listening to the track is supposed to feel a bit like you're trying to wade through drying cement, somewhere in a dystopian future, industrial factory in the Middle East, obviously.