Sound & Reason
- Record Label
- Albert's Favourite
About this item
New London based quartet Qwalia, led by drummer Yusuf Ahmed, offer a plethora of influences whilst remaining resolutely itself. Assembled from musicians who play with David Byrne, Joy Crookes, Nubiyan Twist, Frank Ocean, Jordan Rakei, Sampha, Cat Stevens and more; Yusuf is joined by Tal Janes on guitars and vocals, Ben Reed on bass and keyboardist Joseph Costi. Qwalia’s debut album ‘Sound And Reason’ is set for release by Alberts Favourites on 24th March 2023.
The name Qwalia stems from the same sounding word Qualia, a philosophy of mind with the property of being an ineffable experience. Qwalia’s music is an instinctive aural expression of how things seemed in the moment of creation.
In April ‘21, Qwalia spent two days recording completely improvised music at the Fish Factory in North West London. There was no plan or preconceived idea of what the music should sound like or what was going to happen.
“We set up altogether in one room, dimmed the lights, pressed record and just played,” says Yusuf. “We came away with over 13 hours of music, which was consolidated into three albums worth of material. The final record is mainly a result of pulling faders up or down to create space and structure out of what was already there from the live recording. The production process felt akin to a sculptor chipping away excess stone to reveal a statue that was already there, and occasionally putting some makeup on it!”
The band members are Pakistani, Italian, Venezuelan, Jewish and English. A reflection of the fact that cultural categories are infinite; Qwalia’s music unconsciously explores identity, exposing what this can mean. Or perhaps that it doesn’t mean anything at all.
A1. Fool Me Once
A2. The Grip
A3. Sound & Reason
A4. Electric Highway
B1. Haven’t You Heard
B3. In Your Own Words