It’s Worse

Collaborative recording with Sholto Dobie for Cafe OTO’s Takuroko label, 2020

Digital release available here

Cafe OTO says:
Following the cancellation of their Central European tour as a duo in June 2020, Shakeeb Abu Hamdan and Sholto Dobie, together and apart, unveil a remote sonic partition between their respective abodes in Lebanon and Lithuania. Letting a melange of new and archival material wind around each other, swell back and forth and coalesce into a nebulous mass, they tease the temporality of real time improvisation, opting instead for a near mythical, ghost-like exchange.

The two have never played together in real life, and while each sonic element can sing on its own, nothing falls out of the frame or feels like a loose fractal. Sholto's self-built organ breathes deep sighs and hisses, meeting Shakeeb's undulating electronics and ricocheting rhythmics in a series of harmonic, tumbling gestures. Like Limpe Fuchs' work with Anima, there is space given for elements to clatter and scatter, but also bring towards circling motifs. Organ dirges & patterned drums emerge out of the misty plains, raising themselves skywards.

Sholto and Shakeeb's own locality might or might not have contributed to their ventures, but we can't help but feel an imprint embossed in its genetic make-up. Listen closely and one can hear the spectres of regional folk musics, ceremonies, lonely streets, day-to-day banality... Together they let their complex inner & outer worlds meet and dance in a sonic apparition.
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Shakeeb Abu Hamdan: drums, amplified drums and electronics
Sholto Dobie: self-built organ
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Drum parts on tracks one and three: from a live recording by Graham Dunning at The Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow 2019. Tracks two, four and five: recorded by Shakeeb Abu Hamdan at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut 2018 - 2019.

Organ parts on tracks one, three and five: recorded by Simas Okas and Vytautas Franukevičius in Vilnius 2020. Track two: recorded in Empty Brain Resort, Vilnius 2020. Track four: recorded in the studio of Arturas Bumšteinas and Gailė Griciūtė, SODAS 2123, Vilnius 2020.

Assembled and mixed by Shakeeb Abu Hamdan in Beirut and Gharifeh, July - August 2020
Mastered by John Hannon at NO

Mark