REVIEW: ABRI + Elie Afif - MALLAM
Collaborative record between two of UAE's top artists delivers a blissful blend of jazz and soul.
As far as collab projects go, you won’t find a more perfect fit that Hamdan Al-Abri and Elie Afif. Two consulate artists at the height of their game producing an album that transcend genres, styles and time.
The six-track ‘Mallam’ is just a little over 20 minutes of pure bless, impossibly smooth and expertly constructed. The multi-layers that you have to peel through each track leads you to a sort of fever dream, that is both hypnotic and soothing.
Influences from soul to jazz to hip-hop blend seamlessly along an underline of bizarre synths, beats and quirky electronic samples, which are more evident in tracks such as ‘Serenade of the (un)faithful King’ and ‘Wrong Direction’.
Abri is taking his vocal range to new heights, displaying all his qualities from the overly tender to the deeply soulful. While Elie brings his years of mastering his musicianship and production skills into full focus.
This project is all about introspection and extrospection, a collaboration that Elie Afif and I started a few years ago,” Abri said about the release, “We worked diligently to find our own voice and sound and in the process we picked out the six tracks that we felt were the strongest.
This is a record that showcases the power of two artists who are at the height of their game. The perfect antidote for a lazy Saturday afternoon or a midweek evening blues.