// Saturday June 13, 2009
// Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin
// Entrance fee: 14.- €
The first ever Sublime Frequencies Tour combines street-level folk-pop, over-driven psychedelic meditations, desert blues and Syrian party bangers with films and DJs. It brings to Europe two live acts who have released albums on the Sublime Frequencies label: Group Doueh (from the Western Sahara) and Omar Souleyman (from Syria). The tour is much more than just a couple of Sublime Frequencies bands playing, there is not really such a thing. Group Doueh and Omar Souleyman have been invited to come to Europe, Sublime Frequencies have been visiting the bands in their home countries and helping them prepare for the tour. This will be the first time either band has toured in Europe. Nearly the whole SF label team will come on tour with them, adding their own creative impulses. This is a street-level, artist-run enterprise and that is how it will be presented.
MUSICAL BROTHERHOODS FROM THE TRANS-SAHARAN HIGHWAY
by Hicham Mayet, 60 min.
Shot in 2005 by Hisham Mayet predominately at the Jemaa Al Fna in Marrakesh Morocco, the film captures an assortment of spectacular musical dramas presented live and unfiltered on the home turf of the world's most dynamic string and drum specialists performing and manifesting the ecstatic truth. Ancient mystical brotherhoods have been flourishing for centuries in and around the cities of Marrakesh and Essaouira in Morocco where the trade caravans have gathered from their long journeys across the Trans-Saharan Highway. This is some of the last great street music on Earth. A must see for string aficionados looking for inspiration as electric ouds, banjos, mandolins and the Gnawa sentir peel flesh from bone right before your eyes!
Group Doueh are led by the enigmatic guitar hero Bamaar Salmou, who is known simply as 'Doueh' (pronounced: 'Doo-way'). They are from Dakhla, in the Western Sahara. The group's sound is unlike anything that you've ever heard before. It is a sound that is rooted in the traditional foundations of Sahrawi/Hassania music, but one that is also entirely its own. It shares its roots with the neighbouring styles of Mauritanian music, however Group Doueh have managed to transcend the classical limitations of that music with a fiery, independent, and avant approach that incorporates a distinctly pop and rock element that is anomalous in the region. This is a sound that can only come from the land that inspired it. This is the sound of the Sahara desert. It is a searing, meditative, and hypnotic modal sandstorm of note clusters that has been cathartic to anyone who has heard it. Group Doueh have been playing together for over 20 years. The band consists of their leader, Doueh on guitar and tinidit, his wife Halima on vocals and tbal, their son Jamal on organ, and longtime friend Bashiri also on vocals. They had declined several offers from Moroccan, French and Spanish recording labels to release their music. It was not until Sublime Frequencies, after a long search for the music landed them at the man's house in Dakhla, that Doueh agreed to have his music released for the very first time.
> watch Group Doueh on youtube
Omar Souleyman is a musical legend from Syria. For the past 15 years, he and his group have emerged as a staple of folk-pop throughout the country, having issued more than five-hundred studio and live-recorded cassette albums which are easily spotted in the shops of any Syrian city. Hailing from the rural North-eastern city of Ras Al Ain, Souleyman began his musical career in 1994 with a small group of local collaborators that have been with him from the start. The group tirelessly performs concerts throughout Syria and has accepted invitations to perform abroad in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Lebanon.The myriad musical traditions of the region are evident in their music, which reflect the sounds of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and the sizeable Kurdish population. The moods swing from coarse and urgent to dirgy and contemplative in the rugged anthems that comprise Souleyman's repertoire. Expect the ultimate party music. Omar's superb and varied vocal stylings feature over high-octane Syrian "Dabke" (the regional folkloric dance music) and a host of other styles. Frantic Arabic keyboard solos provided by the incredible Rizan Sa'id intertwine with reeds, stringed instruments and percussion. Mahmoud Harbi, a long-time collaborator and he man responsible for much of the poetry sung by Souleyman accompanies Omar for an unforgettable onstage collaboration as they perform the Ataba, a traditional form of folk poetry, where Omar's unaccompanied freestyle "mawal" singing stands in a league of its own.This is a rare opportunity to glimpse into Syrian street-level folk-pop – a phenomenon seldom heard in the West in this form, and rarely, if ever, included on the import agenda of worldwide academic musical committees. Experience the genuine sounds of Syria and the Middle East without the condescending polish and shine of much exported "world beat".
> watch Omar Souleman's "Leh Jani" on youtube
In between and afterwards
SUBLIME FREQUENCIES DJ SETS
One of a kind DJ set presentations featuring primarily retro 1960's and 1970's Hybrid-Pop Rock Folk Beat Yeh-Yeh Go-Go Freak Beat Psychedelic Surf and many indigenous styles from North Africa, The Middle East, South and Southeast Asia. All of the material played at these DJ sets will be unreleased archival music collected by the DJs themselves. So sit back, listen, dance, do as you will and let them saw your head off with the best music you've almost assuredly NEVER heard before! (DJs: Mark Gergis & Alan Bishop).