What does Almaazz sound like?
Hypnotic and haunting traditional Arabic songwriting taken to the gothic underground industrial scene.
The review of Almaazz – Sot Wa Sada
Egyptian-Canadian vocalist, dancer and songwriter Almaazz opens her musical career with ‘Sot Wa Sada’, her debut EP. Borrowing from traditional Arabic songwriting, Almaazz places familiar sounds, chords and singing styles into heavy bass driven avant-garde electronica. This EP goes hard for resonance and it’s like a gothic club set designed to shake your bones.
Opening with ‘123’, Almaazz creates a thick atmosphere with rubbery bass that overwhelms your ears. She combines it with a resonant kick drum that has an aftertouch white noise crackle, making the song feel extremely dense. It’s as if the entire song is electrified and ready to explode. Over the top of the machine gun kick drums, Almaazz sings intense and alluring vocal phrases that balance between hypnotic and foreboding. That mood carries across the entire EP and ‘Geneya’ moves us into subwoofer dub territory. It pulsates the kind of bass you feel louder than you hear and the industrial percussion clangs and cranks around the bass like a jungle track waiting to break free.
Thick atmospherics are the character traits for this EP and ‘Raneen’ plays with this idea in an abstract fashion. The song is crammed full of single-shot reversed cymbals, distorted snare drums and echoing tube noises that echo out to create a bed of sound for Almaazz to sing over. It sounds dangerous, like the whole EP does but also like heaven has been set on fire. This paves the way for the melodic interlude ‘Zayee’ which centres on synth-bells for a futuristic otherworldly calling. The EP then closes with the taut ‘Ah’. Here Almaazz breaks a track into frequency shifts. The song begins as a haunting drone purge before it changes channels like a TV flipping through different ideas. It then returns to a more chaotic version of the opening minute with distorted overblown kickdrums attacking your soul.
Whilst the EP is extremely brief, with only one song reaching the three-minute mark, it works in its favour. ‘Sot Wa Sada’ is viscerally intense, like an industrial gothic version of every dramatic bridge from an Arabic-inspired Eurovision song. That might sound like a terrible description but it is like Almaazz is scorching the Earth with her sound as she sings. Cinematic, apocalyptic, alluring and so resonant it will shake your bones, it is like someone turned the body of club music inside out.
Recommended track: Geneya
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