"Kalimat" is a new collaboration between improvising Arabic-influenced trio Sawa an electronic artist Lossy. With early radio support from the likes of Nemone (BBC 6Music), Nick Luscombe (Radio 3 / Late Junction), Rob Luis (Juice FM / Tru Thoughts), Bill Brewster (NTS / DJ History), and Dubmission (WYEP) this mix of world music, jazz and electronica has been attracting attention and support from choice DJs across the globe.
A double A-side single, the project began as an ad hoc trio recording in British-Iraqi singer Alya Al-Sultani's living room - joining her on the session were German pianist Clemens Christian Poetzsch and London-based cellist Shirley Smart. Alya then passed the reins over to electronic composer and producer Lossy who warped and mangled the original stems and added in a his signature mix of beats, acoustic hacks, synths and electronics.
"Seriously interesting sounds"
Nemone (BBC 6 Music)
Pete Tong (BBC Radio 1)
"Great Collab, love it!"
Rob Da Bank (BBC Radio / Bestival)
"There's something so beautiful about the Arabic language and voice, two stunning tracks"
Tariq Ziyad (Nu Rave FM)
"Beautifully crafted sounds"
Normski (House Party / Hoxton FM)
"Two excellent songs"
Martin Madigan (DMC Magazine)
"Beautiful exotic rhythms here"
Alex Ruder (KEXP FM)
The lyrics for title track "Kalimat" are taken from the poetry of Lebanese poet Nazar El-Qabani and describe the vulnerability and powerlessness we can open ourselves to when we are in love. The original recording features a unique instrument called the Fluid Piano, a microtonal acoustic keyboard instrument of which there is only one in the world. This unusual starting point is chopped up and fed through tape delays by Lossy, who then adds an intriguing shimmer to the vocals, and repurposes the cello as a high gated synth pad towards the end of the rework to produce a laid back track reminiscent of the output of Bonobo, Anchorsong, Massive Attack or PM Dawn.
Track 2 sees a traditional Arabic folk tune "Bint el Shalabiya" given new life on the original improvised session this time with a grand piano accompanying the cello and vocals. Piano chops are again the order of the day from Lossy, though this time the tempo is cranked up a little to what could be described as a gentle UK funky / bass groove, with 8 bit synths, analogue noise, drum machines and paraphonic pads creating a fusion of folk story telling and VHS inspired layers of wonky electronica.