Egyptian composer Maurice Louca announces improv-able new album Elephantine, out on Northern Spy in February

Egyptian composer Maurice Louca announces improv-able new album Elephantine, out on Northern Spy in February

Complained about your local music scene lately? Some places are just unlucky from a cultural standpoint, while others are forced to become an artistic black hole due to the backwards views of political and religious leaders who might irrationally view certain types of art as a threat to the moral cohesion of society. Those leaders are certainly nutjobs, by and large; but their impact should be considered when innovative music does manage to escape from their wrinkly and self-righteous grips. Maurice Louca therefore deserves extra kudos for creating and delivering innovative music despite the varying states of political turmoil in his native Egypt! Those of us in the United States don’t know how good we’ve got it being able to attend shows featuring all those hedonistic guitars and Satanic accordions.

Louca’s work as a member of The Dwarfs of East Agouza shouldn’t be missed, especially as the trio’s just getting going — but a new release, entitled Elephantine, promises to more seriously showcase the Cairene’s specific instrumental and compositional talents. His new album’s out February 1 on Northern Spy, and the influences are abundant and seamless: somehow, Louca’s managed to combine senses of free improvisation, jazz, and melodies local to the Middle East/Northern Africa. A press release attests to the fact that he both performed himself and recruited musicians from Italy, Iraq, Sweden, Turkey, and Denmark in order to have an intricate vision realized.

Oh, and I mean, like literally, for sure “realized.” As in: hear the opening track “The Leper” right down below this sentence, and pre-order the whole album here.


Elephantine tracklisting:

01. The Leper
02. Laika
03. One More for the Gutter
04. The Palm of a Ghost
05. Elephantine
06. Al Khawaga

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