One of the most exciting and authentic outfits in the current electronica scape, Shkoon are changing the face of underground music in the Arab world. Gaining considerable international acclaim and recognition off the back of their experimental live performances, stunning original productions and modern re-interpretations of popular Arab classics, the duo are building bridges between traditional Middle Eastern music and modern club culture, as they serve to unify multiple demographics and generations through their richly eclectic productions and ethereal track selections.
Now, following the remarkable international success of their remix for Ragheb Alama’s Ya Rayt back in March, the German-Syrian electronica outfit look to continue their prolific run of 2022 form with the announcement of their touching new live album, FIRAQ.
Watch Now: Shkoon – FIRAQ Live Album Session
Recorded during the pandemic, just a few days after the death of a close family member, FIRAQ – which translates as ‘division’ or ‘split’ in English – is a mesmerising and emotive body of work spanning an extraordinary scope of texture, tonality and rhythm. A beautifully crafted musical journey, which unfolds over a heart-wrenching selection of rousing electronica cuts, FIRAQ is Shkoon’s first full-length album since the release of Rima back in 2019 and marks another career-defining moment for an act whose collective creativity and musicianship knows no bounds.
Speaking about the release, Shkoon commented:
“FIRAQ is an album that’s incredibly close to our hearts and a project that took on a great deal of poignancy following a death in the family. A huge amount of raw emotion and angst went into the recording of the album and it is an experience that will stay with us both forever. Adding to this, the artwork for the release is taken from some old drawings from the deceased that have been adapted and modernised by our very talented friend and designer, Hadeer Omar.”
Out today, May 20, via MDLBEAST Records’ subsidiary label WTR – a home for organic, arabesque, electronic music – FIRAQ features a total of fifteen poignant compositions, including new live interpretations of the previously released singles Invertigo, Ala Moj Al Bahr, Letters, Sin, Just a Sec, 33.9 Million Miles and Forgotten Stories.
Accompanying these established favourites is an impressive selection of new offerings, including the album’s lead single Mulajia (a re-interpretation of Nazem Al Ghazali’s Iraqi classic Fog Al Nakhal), the opening title track Firaq, A03 (a re-interpretation of a famous Arabic folklore song Digi Digi Ya Rababa), QQQ (a re-interpretation of El Helwa Di by Sayed Darwish), a live remix of Detmold’s Madlen and four more original creations. See below for full tracklist.
Shkoon – FIRAQ (Live Album) is out now via MDLBEAST Records’ subsidiary label WTR, grab it HERE.
Shkoon – FIRAQ (Live Album) Tracklist:
1. Firaq (Live Version)
2. Refraction (Live Version)
3. QQQ (Live Version)
4. A03 (Live Version)
5. Invertigo (Live Version) *
6. Ala Moj Al Bahr (Live Version) *
7. Detmold – Madlen Remix (Live Version)
8. Letters (Live Version) *
9. Laayounak (Live Version)
10. Mulajia (Live Version)
11. Mohammed (Live Version)
12. Sin (Live Version) – Metatext & Shkoon) *
13. Just a Sec (Live Version) *
14. 33.9 Million Miles (Live Version) *
15. Forgotten Stories (Live Version) *
* denotes previously released single
Originally from Syria but residing in Germany as a refugee, Ameen met German native Thorben in Hamburg in 2015, where they started producing together under their Shkoon project. It didn’t take long for them to gather a huge international audience and cement their reputation as tastemakers of the Arab electronica scene. In December 2019, they released their long-awaited debut album Rima, which was followed by a worldwide album tour, where they performed sold out shows across Beirut, London, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg. Sadly, Ameen’s refugee status thwarted booking opportunities across many countries; yet another reason for the duo’s passion and dedication to connect with music audiences the world over. Using their music as a message for cultural diversity, the pair takes huge inspiration from their respective backgrounds, gravitating to Syrian folklore when devising their lyrics in Arabic and opting for western-rooted electronic music for the format.