His guest spot on ZULI’s “Kollu l-Joloud” brought his haunting voice to the forefront, and now Saudi Arabia’s mysterious MSYLMA has released his own debut record. Dhil-un Taht Shajarat Al-Zaqum draws lyrically upon pre-Islamic and Quranic poetry, exploring themes of existential angst over a backdrop of abstract, grimy beats. It’s not a conventional listen in any sense, but even without being able to understand the Arabic lyrics, there’s something immediate and emotional about MSYLMA’s plaintive vocals. You can grab the album through Boomkat.
I often wonder what would happen if we bring back more of this kind of multilayered, allegorical thinking, this juicy stuff that made the music of Bach and others so meaningful in its day? Reviving these older creative methods and conceptions of music makes a worthy and profound experiment.