El Khat

You’ve probably heard about this band already, but if you haven’t…

…then be sure to give at least one spin to the debut album of El Khat (القات), a widely commented band led by Eyal El Wahab, a Yemenite Jew and a former lead cellist of the Jerusalem Andalusian Orchestra. Other musicians of the band come from Morocco, Iraq and Poland.

On “Saadia Jefferson” (سعديا جيفيرسون), Eyal El Wahab decided to process traditional folk songs from Yemen through contemporary and quite global inspirations, plus their unrestrained imagination of the quartet’s members. So beside guitars, trumpets, sequencers or darbucka there are such home-made instruments like percussion and string instruments produced from olive oil and tomato cans, petrol canisters, bicycle wheels, jerry cans, broken shelf or a rope.

Add poignant vocals to the mix and you get one of the most original album’s we’ve heard recently. With such an idiosyncratic release you can’t predict whether someone will love it or hate it, but we can promise “Saadia Jefferson” is something you haven’t heard not only within the orbit of Yemenite music.

Stream “Saadia Jefferson” LP on Spotify and Bandcamp.


El Khat on Facebook.

Recent music from Yemen