The electronic music world is replete with headstrong and innovative artists at present, but few can claim to be carving a sound as distinct and personal as 47Soul, with ‘shamstep’. Built upon traditions of the Arab world, such as dabke dance and the unique sound capabilities of the Mijwiz pipe – they are introducing to their music a politically-aware poetry from hip-hop, a rhythm from reggae and funk and a spine of electronic rhythm from house and electro.
Arriving in London a few years ago, the group had played but one show. Despite that, they were greeted by a diverse crowd at their first gig, dancing dabke and lapping up their experimental, energetic fusion. The master of ceremonies at an Arab celebration such as a wedding, is the yarghul or mijwiz player. In response to that, 47Soul not only MC in the U.S. hip-hop sense, but also emulate the characteristics of the instrument by utilising the pitch shift and tonewheel controls of analogue synthesizers. Also wielding guitars and hand drums, their truly unique approach won them no end of acclaim from those who attended their shows and followed their work.
Now readying the release of their album Balfron Promise, described as ‘high-energy music with a message’ in Guardian music’s four-star review – they’re certain to win over a UK audience as they assimilate British culture into their worldly aware style.
47Soul play live at Band on the Wall on 9th February and DJ J. French has prepared a playlist to put you in the mood for the show. It contains music of Arabic, British and North African origin, hinting to the borderless mentality of creatives in the digital age.