"IBTIHALAT is a wildly futuristic album of chromium-plated sound design, hi-end micro-sampling techniques, algorithmic psychoacoustics and field recordings, with a strong grasp of history, tradition and complex rhythmic structures. It's an album that never loses its momentum with precision-engineered experimental club velocity - while simultaneously drawing parallels with ritual music and dance traditions that stretch into medieval times and beyond." Boomkat
Ibtihalat is a cyclical and boundless summoning of an otherworldly force in the face of geographic calamities and contingencies. These invocations are inherent to the musical traditions of Gnawa, Amazigh, Rai in North Africa and Sea Music, Laywa and Samiri in the Arabian Peninsula. Ibtihalat is oddly metered, percussively charged with devotional sublimities that are a direct conversation with an overall obscene history of cultural coercion and extractive violence. Whether it is the emigrational history of the female-led performances of Taggagat in Saudi Arabia and the Laywa music of East African roots that was disseminated by gulf seamen, or the Zaar / Samiri conjurations to communicate with the celestial. The compositions that make up the album introduce processes of musical synthesis and predictive algorithms, initiating rhythmic meters, accents and polyrhythms within beat-based compositions, that are inaccessible through dominant tools in music production. While drawing resonances between these styles and their overlaps with dance music, Ibtihalat contemplates musical futures of these practices within geographies morphed by an unprecedented migration, logistical and extractive accelerations.
Mhamad Safa is a musician, architect and researcher, based between London and Beirut. Safas work focuses on multi-scalar spatial conditions and their sonic make-ups. He explores their intersections with aural legacies of traditional and subcultural practices as well as environments of conflict and violence. He conveys these auditory inquiries by assembling sound design, micro-sampling, algorithmic sound technology, psychoacoustics, field recordings, and their graphic interpretations. Culminating with heavily percussive and rhythmically odd interventions, these sonic irregularities are often repurposed as speculative experimentations on the futures of dance culture.