– THE MILITARY COUP –
Afghan singer Elaha Soroo and the world/dub duo known as Kefaya (Al MacSween & Giuliano Modarelli) team up on the forthcoming full-length Songs Of Our Mothers to create a collection of tracks that merge sounds as diverse as jazz, dub, Indian classical and electronica but which are all united by their roots as a collection of folk songs traditionally performed by Afghan women.
Jama Narenji is the first track to be released from the album.
First thing’s first, the track itself is a powerful listen; a spiritual sidewinder that manages to be both delicately complex and straightforwardly heavy all at the same time. Like a combination of Led Zeppelin, Melt Yourself Down and Anoushkar Shankar all in one.
However, what makes this track special – truly, profoundly special – is the context. Soroo fled her native Afghanistan to live in London after her success as a singer meant she became a target in a culture that looks down on female entertainers.
Against that backdrop, to make an album so full of stories of joy, pain and resilience in times of hardship and oppression whilst also celebrating femininity, sensuality and the spirit of resistance is no mean feat.
And, backed by a band that includes Yazz Ahmed (flugelhorn) and Sarathy Korwar (tabla/dolak), it makes for a compelling combination of raw emotional energy and the intense musicianship of some of the most remarkable and revolutionary artists on the circuit.
Songs Of Our Mothers by Kefaya + Elaha Soroor will be released on 27 September through Bella Union and, if that’s too long to wait, I highly recommend watching this introductory video on the collective.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
LOUIS COLE: DOING THE THINGS
BODY MEAT: NAIROBI FLEX
UNDERWORLD: CUSTARD SPEEDTALK
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –