Self-styled “Neo-Sufism” from Jordanian group Albaitil Ashwai combines local inspirations with rock arrangements, and the results is both unpredictable and pleasurable.
Amman-based collective Albaitil Ashwai (which means Random House) represent the generation of Jordanian artists who keep their eyes and ears open for global influences, but retain a close relationship to their regional tradition.
Released by the invaluable Mostakell Records, their debut debut “Nuun” (ن) blends anything from psychedelia to indie rock to heavy metal to reggae, with Arabic themes and rhythms as its recurring theme.
Among their inspirations, Qais Raja (guitar/vocals), Feras Arrabi (guitars), Nairouz Ajlouni (bass, synths), Qased Ihsan (accordion), Saif Abu Hamdan (drums) and Awad Awad (percussion) mention the famous poet Rumi and, generally, the Sufi legacy – as well as conteporary Egyptian culture.
So this journey can be fascinating both musically and – for those who understand lyrics – spiritually. If you’re afraid all of this suggesta a rather frantic mixture, you’re actually right. It’s extremely unpredictable, but at the same time extremely pleasurable.
Stream “Nuun” LP on Spotify.