Image of Qwalia - Abbreviations
Record Label
Albert’s Favourites

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Cut from material recorded in April 2021 at Fish Factory studios in London, the album’s title Abbreviations nods to the editing and post-production processes that trimmed the original recordings into seven succinct and intricate tracks. Making space for collaborators Ernesto Marichales (percussion), Miryam Solomon (vocals) and Valeria Pozzo (Violin, viola), it builds on the critically-acclaimed success of Sound & Reason (supported by Gilles Peterson and Mary Anne Hobbs) to bring out different shades of the group’s shape-shifting sound.

‘Elevator Company’ condenses twenty-minutes of jamming around Tal Janes’ hypnotic guitar line into a low-lit lounge groove that subverts the tropes of elevator music associated with some forms of easy listening jazz. Featuring Solomon’s wordless vocals, the piece blurs the lines between ambient and improvised music, creating a warm and intimate atmosphere reminiscent of classic RnB recordings.

On a different tip, ‘The Spin’ is a trance-like freak-out drawing on the final reserves of energy at the tail end of two days of solid recording. Reflecting guitarist Janes’ idea that "music really starts happening after a while, once you feel like you have nothing left to offer," the hypnotic rhythm section sets the tone for an fraught and frazzled guitar solo that seems to dissolve the very edges of time and space in the process.

An album that speaks to Qwalia’s endless capacity for self-renewal and uninhibited expression, Abbreviations takes its cue from the group’s name to communicate something ineffable about the nature of music, rhythm and sound that must be experienced to be truly understood.


Barry says: Boldly inventive, wading loosely in Jazz waters, but with pieces that are both distorted and arrhythmic as well as divine, solful stasis. The stunning 'Elevator Company' reminds me straight away of Khruangbin while pieces like 'Majolica' could be a 70's prog band at their most lysergically wild.


A1. Omega
A2. Elevator Company
A3. Majolica
A4. For Future Reference
B1. Valeria
B2. The Spin
B3. Isiah Moon

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