Mesmerising club constructions rooted in Arab music traditions.
On Dhakar, Abdelwahed delves deeper into the rhythmic element that made her previous release such a knotty pleasure. Skittering clicks, a lurching bassline and off-kilter drums dominate "Ah'na Hakkeka"—like a Shackleton track but coiled tighter—while "Zardet Sidi Bagra" is a syncopated bruiser of woody thwacks. True to form, Abdelwahed explores another strong thematic angle rooted in her own experiences of North Africa.
Dhakar, which means "male" in Arabic, is suffused with men, or what sounds like them. On "Lila Fi Tounes," Abdelwahed pitches her own voice down to mimic a silky voiced crooner. Elsewhere, recordings of drunk men singing Egyptian Tarab music and swirling folky violins tilt the tracks towards an ominous mood. Such details, deftly knitted into these experimental, mesmerising club constructions, emphasise Abdelwahed's unwavering viewpoint, inextricable from the traditions—local or otherwise—she channels.