Worldwide album release date: 17 November 2014
Maurice Louca is one of the most exciting artists in the alternative music scene across the Arab world today. Two years in the making, Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot) lands as his most original work to date. His trademark whirlwind of percussion-based rhythms seamlessly intertwines with layers of jarring yet coherent compositions and improvisations, rendered by a host of Arab and international guest artists.
Following years of collaborations and inconspicuous touring across Europe and the Arab world, Louca has become renowned for his powerful live shows. But those who have experienced earlier iterations of Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot) at one of Louca’s performances will hear an album that is far more complex and hard-hitting.
Inspired by many influences, from psychedelic to Egyptian shaabi, Louca shatters the confines of musical and cultural labelling with eight genre-defying tracks. Like a virtual voyage between the charged intensity of confined spaces and the tranquil vastness of open landscapes, the album lays out a trajectory where beautiful and mesmerising fragments sparingly punctate the full-blown pounding episodes.
For the album artwork, Louca collaborated with Egyptian visual artist Maha Maamoun, whose videos and photographs frequently explore the construction of images in mainstream culture and the various ways in which these images are personally re-appropriated. In her photographs, Maamoun toys with our perception and shifts our expectations through subtle interventions. Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot)’s artwork aptly conveys the influence of Cairo’s paradoxical subcultures and the microcosmic soundscape of Louca’s work – in three subtle variations, one for each of the album’s formats.
The album will be available on CD, 12” LP (black and limited edition green vinyl), and digital download. Pre-orders will be available via iTunes and the Nawa Store (store.nawarecordings.com) from 20 Oct 2014 with the album lead track, Al-Mashoub (Idiot) offered as an immediate download: https://soundcloud.com/nawarecordings/maurice-louca-al-mashoub-idiot
For more information, image and interview requests contact Sarah El Miniawy Hefni: firstname.lastname@example.org / skype: sarahhefni
Notes to Editors
- Al- ‘Asr Adh-Dhahabi (The Golden Age)
- Al-Mashoub (Idiot)
- Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot)
- Tasaddu’ (Rupture)
- Maksim (Maxim)
- Al-Mallahat (Salt Pans)
- Sharraq Rah Tegharrab (It Will Set)
- Malnash Diyah (Spineless)
Alaa 50: Vocals (Tracks 3/7/8), Mohamad El Mahalawy: Keys (Tracks 1/3/4/8), Alan Bishop: Sax (Track 7), Sam Shalabi: Guitars (Track 6), Tamer Abu Ghazaleh: Buzuq (Track 2), Shaker Ismael: Rababa (Track 3), Bashar Faran: Bass (Tracks 4/5/7/8), Mahmoud Waly: Bass (Tracks 2/6), Kasem El Sudani: Bass (Tracks 1/3), Tarek El Shabah: Drums (Track 2/5/8), Chris Michael Shaheen: Drums (Track 7), Khaled Yassine: Percussion (Track 6), Mahmoud Abd El Khalek: Percussion (Tracks 4/6/8).
About Maurice Louca
Maurice Louca is an Egyptian musician and composer born in Cairo where he currently lives and works. He is the co-founder of the bands Bikya, Alif and Dwarves of East Agouza. His critically acclaimed debut solo album Garraya was released in January 2011 on the Cairo-based 100COPIES label. Ali Abdel Mohsen described it as “a work of bruising intensity, and also unexpected beauty. This isn’t post-industrialist, or post-rock, but rather post-everything”. Louca has since lent his formidable sound to numerous projects composing for theatre, film and contemporary visual artists.
Amidst his collaborations and inconspicuous touring across Europe and the Arab world in the last few years, Louca has sought a richer and much more complex sound. Two years in the making, his second album Salute the Parrot is indeed the fruit of such intense reinvention. With myriad new components rendered by a host of guest musicians, he has created a genre-defying work that leaves ample space for fluidity and improvisation, paving the way for unique live renderings of the work to come.
Maurice Louca will be performing across Europe and the Arab world throughout Oct-Dec 2014. For the latest tour dates, please check www.nawarecordings.com.
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