Boomkat Product Review:
Outstanding side of sensitive and “piercingly emotional” conversations between Nour Mobarak and her father (who has a 30 second memory), asymmetrically paired with improvised songs and vintage chanson to strongly beguiling effect on Recital.
In the works for years, ‘Father Fugue’ is the singular first solo LP by L.A.’s Nour Mobarak, a poet and sound artist operating on the avant-garde fringes for over 10 years with the likes of Smegma and El-G and Spencer Clark. Nour has saved her debut solo insight for this remarkably intimate yet curiously detached portrayal of familial domesticity and freeform songcraft, linking a hundred years of heritage to in-the-moment, on-the-spot songs that could have feasibly appeared at any point over that period.
On the standout A-side she genuinely pushes the form in her own style. With the left channel taken by recording of conversations with her polyglot father in the mountains of Lebanon, turning from Italy to cars and soccer in multiple languages, the right channel becomes occupied by Nour’s series of fractured, whimsical improv songs. Unhurried and loose in effect, this chimeric bifurcation is no less than spellbinding as the convo naturally hop between languages and Nour appears to sing in the shower and brush her teeth or roll her R’s in puppy growls. Somewhere between voyeuristic and intimate, it all comes together in the final quarter with a most beautifully heart-warming appeal that makes the 2nd side’s suite of eleven songs, recorded in her car, the shower and the ruins of Oaxaca, MX - and including a chanson written by her great-great-grandmother in turn of the 20th C. Constantinople - come to life like words of a found diary or songbook emerging from stained pages.
What a gem.