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Based in Amman, Jordan, the record explores Levantine rhythms, timbres, playing styles and microtonality allowing for a sonic deepdive into the Jordanian culture.
Whilst the full EP is released on February 3 next year, lead track ‘Istibtan’ is available now, which is an intriguing twist on a typical Jordanian wedding song with foundations of deep subs to boot.
‘Petals’ rides on a heavy swing, a feature unique to music from southern Jordan, with the flip side showcasing ‘Hazzeh’ and ‘Identity Crisis’. The former deconstructs traditional Dabkeh, and the latter offers elating melodies – all in the Maqam Rast style – played in an unconventional way.
“I think this release is much more than just an individual milestone, it’s also a great step towards giving Middle Eastern producers, DJs, and creatives the recognition they deserve,” Toumba explained. “I’m hoping this release will contribute to shining a spotlight on the amazing work being produced in the region.”
“This is a huge milestone for me and I can’t thank @ben___ufo, @pearsonsound and @pangaea_dj enough for their support and for wanting to release my music,” he continued in his Instagram announcement post.
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Alongside his three aformentioned roles, Toumba is a curator at MNFA, an arts and club space in Jordan’s capital Amman, and he also holds a residency at the MMAG Foundation. Key in offering a creative space for artistic research, production and critical discourse, the foundation works with a selection of the “most gifted” artists in the Levant region.
You can stream Toumba’s lead single from his forthcoming EP ‘Petals’ here, with the full record available on February 3.
Niamh Ingram is Mixmag’s Weekend Editor, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins