TootArd – Migrant Birds

Album Review | Glitterbeat | Review by Allan Wilkinson

What better metaphor for the stateless people of occupied Golan Heights than that of migrating birds, with all the optimism and freedom that this image carries with it.  Brothers Hasan and Rami Nakhleh take their basic disco beats and enthusiastic synth licks, then mix them in with traditional Arabic inflections to create an exhilarating and pulsating party vibe, which is both infectious and enchanting at the same time.   

Although imbued with uplifting melodies and danceable rhythms, there’s a sadness to the songs, which is apparent even to those unfamiliar to the language.  Each of the songs are kept deliberately short and punchy, something not entirely consistent with regular Arabic melodies in the classical tradition, for the purpose of maintaining a high adrenaline level on the dancefloor. Not sure the cover artwork for Migrant Birds adequately sells this album, but perhaps it makes us think of the heyday of 80s disco culture nevertheless.  

Choice Track: Babe (NSV 502)