Boomkat Product Review:
Fatima Al Qadiri follows her Brute album with fine bind of queer, Arabic culture and Durban taxi techno in Shaneera, whose title refers to the english mispronunciation of the Arabic word, shanee’a (شنيعة), literally meaning "outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul."
Referencing South African Gqom in a similar way to Zomby of his Gasp! single or Kode 9 in the Ø album, Fatima veils that sound’s signature cold drum patterns with filigree laters of microtonal synths across the EP in a style which has developed since her astonishing Ayshay 12” and the Genre-Specific Xperience EP in 2011.
As with those releases and everything in between, Shaneera pokes the underbelly of convention in Arabic cultures, using putatively, mutually exclusive styles to heighten and warp the effect: hybridising sounds and their meanings in a way that’s both pleasingly direct for the ‘floor, but also cutting sharp in concept; folding in lyrics about Grindr chats, online drag and femme comedy skits in a context not usually heard beyond those areas. Although unless you speak Kuwaiti or Egyptian Arabic, or know your Iraqi proverbs, the joke is slightly squandered on non-Arabic speakers.
But the one language we all understand is bass-heavy dance music, which she excels in here. From the militant swagger of Shaneera to the panic-trance of Is2aleeha, thru the shades-on, laser-shotting Aljkahaf and searing synth heat of Galby, this one will be lighting ‘floors for time to come.