Al-Qasar - Miraj LP - ONLY AVAILABLE IN EUROPE!

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Rock The Souk! On one side, French-American psychedelic rock producer Thomas Attar Bellier. On the other, Jaouad El Garouge, musician of the ancestral Gnawa tradition from the fishing town of Essaouira (Morocco). Together, they fuse old school psychedelic garage rock with traditional instruments of the Arab world. Guitars and fuzz pedals encounter the oud, Ludwig drum kits shred along the darbuka, saz and mizmar. The socially conscious lyrics in classical Arabic speak of power, oppression, and the refugee experience, but also of liberty, dreams and passion.

Following their first major live appearance, at the Trans Musicales de Rennes 2018, Al-Qasar gained momentum in Europe and the Middle East, with notable appearances at FMM Sines 2019 (Portugal) and at the Fête de la Musique event in the heart of Islamic Cairo (Egypt). While in Egypt, Attar Bellier collaborated with musicians of the zar tradition, an ancient healing ritual achieved through hypnotic drumming and mystical trance.

Conceived between Los Angeles, Cairo, Paris and Nashville, Al-Qasar’s new EP, Miraj (due March 27 2020), reflects the variety of experiences of the band’s collaborators. Amar Chaoui (Tinariwen, Robert Plant) lays down incandescent percussion and rhythmic duels between riq, daf and various darbukas. Algerian “oud hero” Mehdi Haddab (Ekova, Africa Express) engages in a showdown with Egyptian classical oud prodigy Mohamed Abozekry. The Cairo sessions also gave Attar Bellier an opportunity to record endangered Arab and Bedouin instruments such as the kawala and the arghul. To mix the record, he enlisted the help of his old friend Chris Rakestraw (Megadeth, Danzig).