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group doueh - Zayna Jumma
Sublime Frequencies' most prolific act (four albums and counting) drop their most accessible and possibly most popular record to date. 'Zayna Jumma' was recorded in Dakhla last year by Hisham Mayet and features an expanded Group Doueh line-up including bandleader Doueh's eldest sons El Waar and Hamdan on synth and drums, plus three female back-up singers. With it, they've moved closer to the Western rock sound which has always influenced Doueh's electric style, but they've certainly not lost sight of their indigenous Saharoui roots, alchemically fusing the two like few before or since. It's most likely that the western influence has been amplified through recent, and highly successful tours of Europe, but when they're back at home on the Western edge of the Saharan desert, they're still the region's most in-demand wedding band. From the burning mid-tempo dance rhythm of the title track in, the group have honed their hooks and vocal interplay to transcendental potency, evoking deliciously delirious imagery of their homeland while becoming ever more relevant to their outside audience awaiting fresh flames of rogue desert heat. The addition of El Waar to the drummers stool seriously bolsters Doueh's searing stream of guitar while keeping an ice cold groove intensity on 'Ishadlak Ya Khey', whilst adding a (James) Brownian sense of funk to the augmented, yet recognisable, melodies of 'Zaya Koum'. But, equally when the drums are disposed on the meditative 'Met-Ha' we're plunged into somewhere far more exotic with sheer effect. It's very safe to say that this is another essential missive from the edge of the world, highly recommended to lovers of life, exotic pop and the rawest rock music.