Sunday, July 14, 2024

The overwhelming musical ensemble FusaiFusa released their first LP by Locomotiv Records on 15th of March 2024: an intersection of Middle Eastern and Afro-beat sounds, Maghreb rhythms and electronics, Sufism, and traditional sub-Saharan culture.

FusaiFusa is a project which has emerged thanks to the encounter between three talented artists, representing some of the oldest and most captivating cultures of the Mediterranean area: the Kurdish-Syrian composer and multi-instrumentalist Ashti Abdo, the Tunisian percussionist and electronic producer Taha Ennouri, and the Tunisian Sufi music singer and author Ali Belazi. The band’s name derives from an Arabic term that refers to the concept of a mosaic, emphasizing the shared attitude of creating bridges between different sounds and heterogeneous beats, bringing together multiple sensitivities into a vision of music (and life) based on harmony among its parts and connection with the whole. An antidote to the poison of schematism and oppositions that dramatically mark our present and threaten our future.

“Lamana,” the album’s title, is instead a fascinating but untranslatable Arabic word describing the profound strength of entrusting something invaluable to someone, evoking concepts of care and trust. Lamana is thus the music itself, which for FusaiFusa is a treasure to be cherished and shared with the world. It is also the title of the album’s manifesto song, a track that underscores the role and responsibility of artists as an expression of the “collective voice”.

A piece made of obsessive rhythms, electronic incursions, and soothing melodies, laden with symbolism, entrusting percussion and qraqeb with the task of embodying the noise of chains at the feet of slaves, exploding into a true ritual of liberation, mystical and political at the same time. Just as mystical and political is also the long and intoxicating instrumental track that opens the album, “Exodus,” a meditative and psychedelic sonic crossing, bordering on the transcendental, expressing in musical form the journey of migrants through the desert: a real, physical journey, but above all, a troubled and dramatic inner journey, encapsulated between the decision to leave and the prospect of the new reality awaiting at the destination.

words: zizi roberts

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