Yemeni retro-futurist

El Khat

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القات ★ EL KHATEl Khat - a homemade junkyard band led by multi-instrumentalist Eyal El Wahab.

Starting in 2019, El Khat began to hone their sound in garages and warehouses. Through experimenting with DIY homemade instruments as a means to life minimalism philosophy it has led to the three-piece creating an endless collection of Arabic tunes of Yemeni origin.

Detached to a land or to any flag is the driving force behind the group, with the heart of their music and their heritage rooted in Yemen. The constant division that has been created by wars and immigrations have pushed out an identity. With 2 albums behind and a third to be released in 2024 El Khat is on a constant move sharing their art globally mainly in the US and the EU.

“Joyously mixing authentically Arabic musical tropes with ethnomusicological forgeries. Vigorous psychedelic stomps … an exciting new discovery.” Uncut 

The songs on Albat Alawi Op.99 are [band leader Eyal el Wahab’s] own compositions and he has created a denser, rougher sound to carry them. The result is like a whirlwind in a workshop: a barrage of freaked percussion, whomping bass and choral voices set off by banks of detuned brass.” The Wire 

“Band theme song El Khat has searing desert guitar and Leilat Al Henna’s mournful vocals, as violin and ghostly organ conjure a distant, unknown homeland.” Mojo 

El Khat make joyful clatter on Albat Alawi Op.99 … The title track of their new album has no regular instruments at all: everything is recycled metal, plastic or wood, all coming together in a funereal march that sounds like a huge, disgruntled anima shaking itself into life. ….“Never joined the army”, El Wahab sings on opener Ma’afan, “never held a gun.” The percussion clatters behind the beat, a violin climbs up and down embellished scales. “Never could tell/who are the bad guys.” Then for the last half minute of the song horns crowd in, echoing as if in a marketplace.” **** Financial Times 

“Brilliant!” Gilles Peterson 

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