Jim Matus, guitarist/composer of the critically acclaimed band PARANOISE, has created a new band, MAWWAL. This is a further refinement of Matus’ unique world fusion style. MAWWAL is long established and highly acclaimed on the New England club and festival circuit. MAWWAL performs both original music and arrangements of traditional Middle Eastern music in a spirited and beautiful trance-inducing ensemble. Inventive vocal arrangements in English and Arabic weave through the laouto (Greek lute) and violin, augmented by traditional percussion (tabla, dumbek, frame drum, riq) in what has been called a "new genre" by Progression Magazine.
Throughout the Middle East "Mawwal" is a form of popular music that often criticizes society and is performed through improvisation. ================
Featured prominently on bass is Percy Jones (Brand X, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Tunnels). The record also contains two previously unreleased songs, featuring legendary Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (tracks 2 and 6).
"We were given permission to use these tracks by the lawyer for Nusrat's estate. I isolated the vocal and wrote totally new music around his voice, creating an original and smooth blend of the Mawwal band and the beautiful voice of this great master."
"For fans of Peter Gabriel’s brand of world music, Mawwal should be the next step, as this is the most advanced fusion of Middle Eastern and western progressive music we’ve heard."
“If you have any familiarity at all with Peter Gabriel's explorations into the music of other cultures, MAWWAL is what that could've evolved into, pushed further by a quantum leap. "Black Flies" is at once experimental & passionate. Traditional pieces from Libya, Syria & Yemen are explored and then blown wide open with amazing arrangements by Jim that allow western perspectives to swim & mingle in such an intense yet flowing way. The results are spectacular. I'd urge anyone reading this page to check out MAWWAL (as well as Jim Matus' other band PARANOISE). This CD has captivated me in one evening and it might just snare you too!” -(Ray Dorsey/Chaos realm)
"Inspired by musicians like Peter Gabriel, Karsh Kale, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Hamza el Din, Mawwal takes world music in an entirely new direction.”
(Sheryl Hunter, critic, The Recorder, Greenfield, MA)