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MY JERUSALEM

Jerusalem In My Heart

Qalaq

    One of the most renowned and uncompromising entities working in 21st century avant-garde Arab-Levantine art and music, Jerusalem In My Heart presents a new album of vital and haunting electronics and electroacoustics, framed by founder and producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh’s spoken and sung Arabic, buzuk-playing and sound design. Qalaq is the most distilled, variegated and finely wrought Jerusalem In My Heart album to date – featuring a different guest/collaborator on every track, yet as cohesive, emotionally resonant, sonically adventurous and narratively powerful as any release in JIMH’s celebrated discography. Guests across the album's 13 tracks include Moor Mother, Tim Hecker, Lucrecia Dalt, Greg Fox, Beirut, Alanis Obomsawin, Rabih Beaini and many more.

    “Qalaq” is an Arabic word with many shades of meaning but Moumneh particularly intends it as “deep worry” – on various obvious global levels, but also specifically with respect to Lebanon: its collapsing domestic politics, economy and infrastructure; the tragedy and aftermath of the 2020 Beirut port explosion; the intractable geography and geopolitics that continue to condemn the country to corruption, disruption, destabilization and violence. Moumneh writes: “The Side Two tracks are all named ‘Qalaq’ and then numbered, representing the degrees of layered and complex violence that Lebanon and the Levant have reached in the last couple of years, from the complete and utter failure of the Lebanese sectarian state that has driven the economy to a grinding halt, to its disastrous handling of the migrant influx from neighbouring failed states, to the endemic corruption that led to the August 2020 port explosion, to the latest chapter of Palestinian erasure and yet another brutally asymmetrical and disproportionate bombing campaign on Gaza.”

    Qalaq is shaped by a "dismantled orchestra" of musical collaborations, forged through long-distance file exchange during lockdown winter 2020-21 (and the inverted companion to JIMH's previous 2018 full-length Daqa'iq Tudaiq, which featured a 15-piece orchestra recorded live in Beirut). Moumneh initially through composed Qalaq in purposely stark and skeletal form, then gave each guest artist a section to decompose, edit, re-interpret and recompose as they desired, working their stems back into his own mixes for each piece/section and moulding newfound coherences in the overall work. The result is The album artwork with a front cover colour photograph by Myriam Boulous capturing a scene during the Beirut October Revolution of 2019, back cover calligraphy by Krystian Sarkis, and inner sleeve photography of the Beirut port explosion aftermath by Tony Elieh further contextualizes the specificity and lamentations of Qalaq; the deep worry at its heart.

    TRACK LISTING

    01 Abyad Barraq (w/ Greg Fox)
    02 Sa’at (w/ Alexei Perry Cox)
    03 Istashraqtaq (w/ Beirut)
    04 Tanto (w/ Lucrecia Dalt)
    05 ‘Ana Lisan Wahad (w/ Farida Amadou & Pierre-Guy Blanchard)
    06 Qalaq 1 (w/ Alanis Obomsawin & Diana Combo)
    07 Qalaq 2 (w/ Roger Tellier Craig)
    08 Qalaq 3 (w/ Moor Mother)
    09 Qalaq 4 (w/ Rabih Beaini)
    10 Qalaq 5 (w/ Oiseau-Tempête)
    11 Qalaq 6 (w/ VÍZ [Réka Csiszér])
    12 Qalaq 7 (w/ Tim Hecker)
    13 Qalaq 9 (w/ Mayss, Mazen Kerbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui & Raed Yassin) 

    Near the icy waters and snow-covered shores of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York, Jeff Klein locked himself in a rental house and did nothing but write for a month. A few blocks away, in the Midwood area, sits the home in which his mother grew up. A prolonged illness had claimed her life a few years earlier.

    “That was me coming to terms with the whole situation,” the My Jerusalem frontman explains of his attempt to embed himself within his family history after many years of being on the road, touring. “I kept walking by this house my grandparents used to live in on Avenue H. I’ve never been very connected to family. I’ve romanticized the idea of family, but I think I was just trying to connect with something.”

    Klein, who normally resides in Austin, felt an immediate inspiration there and was prolific during these winter weeks near his mother’s childhood neighborhood, producing 14 songs, 12 of which would come to be the band’s forthcoming album, A Little Death.

    “The little death,” or “la petite mort” in French, refers to, well, an orgasm, and somewhere between the literal definition and the slang is where Klein situated the album. “Like any kid, I was obsessed with death and obsessed with sex. Some people grow out of it and start families and become normal people and some of us just stay the same,” he laughs. “I’m still obsessing about the psychology behind death and sex.”


    TRACK LISTING

    1. Young Leather
    2. Rabbit Rabbit
    3. It's Torture!
    4. No One Gonna Give You Love
    5. Done And Dusted
    6. Flashes
    7. Dominoes
    8. Eyes Like A Diamond Mine
    9. Candy Lions
    10. Jive For Protection
    11. Young And Worthless
    12. Chrysalis

    Radwan Ghazi Moumneh returns with a second full-length album from his acclaimed Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) project, conceived and recorded in his dual homes Montréal and Beirut. Known for his production and engineering work with artists as diverse as Matana Roberts (all 3 chapters of her Coin Coin recordings to date), Aids Wolf, Ought, Eric Chenaux and Suuns. Moumneh has been firing on all cylinders over the past few years.

    He has brought JIMH to mesmerized live audiences in Canada, Europe and the Middle East since the release of his first album in 2013, following many years during which the project was a strictly Montréal-based live/theatrical happening. While JIMH continues to expand to includealarger cast of players for select engagements and commissions, the group is currently animmersive and performative audio-visual duo at its core, with Moumneh responsible for all sound / composition and filmmaker Charles-André Coderre creating 16mm visuals and live projections/installations . Moumneh expands his compositional palette on If He Dies, If If If If If If, exploring new deconstructions and juxtapositions of both traditional and popular Arab musical currents, with an album that oscillates between powerfully emotive vocal tunes and instrumental works that primarily make use of Radwan's expressive acoustic playing on buzuk and zurna as a point of departure.

    “A daring act brimming with promise.” – Tinymixtapes. 
    “[JIMH] has a mature and unbridled energy that defies classification, and I cannot recommend it enough.” – A Closer Listen.
    "Compelling, confounding, deeply moving." – All Music Guide. 


    TRACK LISTING

    01 Al Affaq, Lau Mat, Lau Lau Lau Lau Lau Lau (The Hypocrite, If He Dies, If If If If If If)
    02 A Granular Buzuk
    03 7ebr El 3oyoun (Ink Of The Eyes)
    04 Qala Li Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa (To Me He Said Enough Enough Enough...)
    05 Lau Ridyou Bil Hijaz? (What If The Hijaz Were Enough?)
    06 Ah Ya Mal El Sham (Oh The Money Of Syria)
    07 2asmar Sa7ar (The Brown One Cast A Spell)
    08 Ta3mani; Ta3meitu (He Fed Me; I Fed Him)

    Suuns & Jerusalem In My Heart

    Suuns & Jerusalem In My Heart

      Beginning in November 2012, Suuns and longtime friend Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart rented a studio in Montreal for seven days. The idea was to collaborate on rough sketches of song ideas and to complete as much recording as possible without discrimination. The session was successful, yielding many vibe-laden songs featuring heavy analogue synths, Arabic influences and electronic sensibilities.

      After the session the recordings laid dormant. Both bands were releasing individual albums; touring was to ensue shortly. Some editing time was squeezed in between tour dates but a full year passed before the songs were heard by an audience. The collaborative band did a live show at Pop Montreal 2013 and then another the following March. At that point the project was kickstarted into gear. The band over-dubbed and re-worked the songs in the summer of 2014 and finally, whilst on tour in October, finished the vocal overdubs and mixing. Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart did the tracking and most of the mixing while Max Henry of Suuns handled some mixing as well.


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