Omar Ahmad

AKP Recordings, 2023

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


On this solo debut, Palestinian-American composer, producer, DJ and sound artist Omar Ahmad delivers cello, synth, guitar, percussion, voice, CDJ, field recordings, effects and programming over eight very atypical songs that emit classical, experimental and electronic sensibilities. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“A Little Time For Me” gets the listen off to a rich start with warm piano and some light ambience, before faint background vocals and unpredictable percussive sounds enter. “Gesso” follows with a glowing drone that's met with bright keys and plenty of cinematic ideas that are immediately memorable.

Approaching the middle, Sam Obey's synth programming is present across the Eastern ideas of the sci-fi friendly “Sham Oasis,” which builds into a precisely textured album highlight. “Lapses” is a close second, though, and flows with much intimacy thanks to Concetta Abbate's stirring violin arrangement.

The back half of the listen opens with the mesmerizing and strategically repetitive “Losing A Friend,” while “Usra” emits a charming, dreamy spirit of floating keys, wordless vocals and stylish beats that could soundtrack a very calm night at the club.

The listen exits with the radiant synth and buzzing qualities of “Descended From A Wanaque Tree (Borrowed Memory),” and the elegant guitar playing of “Cygnet Song,” full of culture and intrigue.

An autodidactic multi-instrumentalist, Ahmad's vision spans empathy, loss, discovery and how it pertains to the world around us. The orchestral bouts, Arab poly-rhythm balance and very modern electronica ensure an involved listen for the open ears.

A highly DIY affair, other than a couple contributions on instrumentation, Ahmad wrote and performed everything and recorded and mixed it in his Brooklyn home. It's available physically on a cassette, and I know many of you might be groaning about that, but it looks like tapes are making a comeback (sorta).

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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