Oni Ayhun aside, Morphosis' Musafir EP is among the finest two-trackers I've heard all year. Full of imagination, emotion and dance floor erudition, it checks just about all the boxes that you'd want from a 12-inch release. This is nothing new for the Lebanese-born Rabih Beaini, whose excellent releases on his own Morphine Records imprint and M>O>S have flown mostly under the radar for the past few years. But while you can perhaps hear why previous efforts such as Dark Myths of Phoenicia or Cetrik might have had limited crossover appeal, I don't think this is the case for Musafir.
Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but "Musafir"'s and its echoing and skronking saxophone darting in front, behind and inside the hook strikes me as obvious fist-pumping material. Beaini's work will no doubt be off-putting to some, but he foregrounds the melody so much so that you can likely ignore the glorious mess behind it and simply focus on the percolating melody. There's even less "getting in the way" of "Running Out" whose sputtering synth is buoyed by slithering, droning chords. Both tunes are obviously worked over—as complex as your average modular synth soup—but Musafir sounds effortless, always a sign that something special has occurred.
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Tracklist: Morphosis - Musafir A Running Out