Retiring to pursue a new project, Al-Mutreb (The Singer, aka The Human Oyster, aka Ja7eem Hafezz) leaves us with the very best and last of what has jeopardized his health, sanity and a number of friendships.
An almost ten-year long journey traces some tracks like Ladyyyyy 2020 (produced by Amjad Shahrour [2017-2020] and appearing on HIZZ’s ‘Kombile 002’) morphing from a dreampop song to an apprehensive doom and gloom track overlaid with the sound of a hospital ventilator. Another track that fell under Al-Mutreb’s incessant urge to butcher is nar el ghera (fire of jealousy, produced by 1800s Internet [2020-2021] and appearing on a fundraiser comp for Gaza on Avon Terror Corps). Starting out with a song about a love ruined by jealousy, to then be devoured by Abul-Loul and 1800s Internet and spat out, mutilated beyond recognition, nar el ghera is inspired by an almost palpable hatred and a desire to self-destruct if it means taking down the enemy.
Al-Mutreb’s voice shapeshifts throughout the album; from self-indulgent romance (Sorry Habibti, produced by 1800s Internet, and appearing first on Bokeh Versions’ NTS show [April/2021]), to intimidation (nar el ghera), to provocation (Al-Mutreb [The Singer], the result of a chance encounter with Amaury [Ulan Bator,Faust] in Napoli, recorded Live at the Hermann Nitsch Museo [Sep/2021]) all the way to a slurred recitement (Uhrob Min El Hob, produced by jinjin ) from two spotty livers in a cloud of tobacco smoke.
Following a long tradition of plagiarists, from Abdel Wahab and Fairouz to Serge Gainsbourg and Nick Cave, Al-Mutreb, borrowing the Mutreb status from the formers and the devil-may-care attitude from the latters, steals proudly, changing the language, context, music and -in most of them- the words to the point where if you were not reading it here you wouldn’t know.
Al Mutreb also repurposes some of his personal field recordings throughout the album; one of which in particular is the little girl we hear in the prelude, which, upon the Mutreb’s request back in 2012, sings about fear in a captivating performance following the humdrum attempts of her colleagues and mentors to do so.
The project of Al-Mutreb Abul-Loul (Abul-Loul, a nickname that translates to The Father/The King of Pearls) culminates in a bodily manifestation of a very real and very rare pearl; a case with hardly any medical literature; the development of a scrotal pearl, removed under general anesthesia, adding to the series of the many unfortunate and absurd occurrings that describe Abul-Loul’s life, and calling for the abortion of this project to make room for a new undertaking.
released January 14, 2022
Mastered by jinjin
Lyric reinterpretations by Shereen Amarin and Laith Demashqieh