Mawwal | This Is All There Is, There Is No Other Place

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World: Middle East Traditional Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Experimental
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This Is All There Is, There Is No Other Place

by Mawwal

A world fusion of both original music and arrangements of traditional Middle Eastern and Pakistani music in a spirited and beautiful trance-inducing acoustic/electric ensemble.
Genre: World: Middle East Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Mondanabosh
7:33 $0.99
2. Ho Gaye
7:07 $0.99
3. Bela Sehida
6:20 $0.99
4. Mawwaltz
5:40 $0.99
5. This Is All There Is, There Is No Other Place
7:54 $0.99
6. Helalisa
6:36 $0.99
7. Allah Hu
8:10 $0.99
8. Agg Damen
5:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Inventive vocal arrangements in English and Arabic is supported by a laouto (Greek lute) and augmented by traditional percussion (tabla, dumbek, frame drum, riq) and violin in what has been called a "new genre" by Progression Magazine.

"Unconventional, fantastical and delightfully extravagant, Mawwal’s This Is All There Is There Is No Other Place is magically mesmerizing.” -WORLD MUSIC CENTRAL

“From the first track, listening to Mawwal's this is all there is, there is no other place is like absorbing some bizarre hallucinogenic compound through your armpits in a Waziristan sweat lodge. Drawing heavily on traditional Middle Eastern/ South Asian music and academic icons like Joe Zawinul and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the contemporary arrangement of these rooted-in-tradition pieces is, well, seriously cool.”
-Tom Sturm (Valley Advocate)

“For the first impression of Black Flies, it's hard to get beyond "wow!"... For me, this is what "progressive" music is all about.... For my taste, this is album is just about perfect in every way. The compositions are intricate and engaging and the musical performances are nothing short of spectacular.... a fascinating brew. Bumping this album off my "Best of 2007" list this year will be quite a feat, Black Flies is essential!
-- Fred Trafton/Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive rock

In my experience, Mawwal's world fusion is peerless in its passion and delivery.
Mac Beaulieu/Expose magazine

“From Paranoise main man Jim Matus comes Mawwal, a project that transmorgrifies the indigenous musics of the nuclear near and middle east into a bouncy world beat that will make you ponder as well as dance. Jim brings this huge potpouri together under his personal umbrella.
You mustn’t forget either that he is a master of the laouto, a lute native to Crete.....The harmonically spiky non-Western ethos of ‘Jackal’s Wedding’ orthe subtle, low-fly-by chromaticism of ‘Haq Ali’ may shake you from your stupor”. -John Patrick/Progression

“Percy Jones' turgid bassline yanked my attention straight into Mawwal's album opener "Tara Torna." "That's allowed?!" I thought as his monster chord brought resolution to a slippery pitch-bend from the female chorus. Thirty-six seconds into this disc and I was already bugging out. On paper, Mawwal reads like a world fusion band, which makes them sound boring. Many world bands lack a galvanizing, listenable reason to stick various musical traditions in the blender. Mawwal, however, is the product of a firmly grounded vision. Band mastermind Jim Matus weaves traditional lyrics from Bulgaria, Libya, Sufi songs, and Malinke chants into lush rock arrangements. At the same time, he casts the music against a backdrop of radical political dissent, and roots it in compassion, brotherhood, and anger”. -Dan Barry/ HARTFORD ADVOCATE

“I don’t know why I didn’t slide this one into the player the moment it arrived. Boom! Right off the bat it grabbed me with drums the size of a continent, massed vocals and a bit later electric guitar and bass. And that bass! The unmistakable sound sent me running for the credits, yes, there it was: Percy jones. By the time the electric violin entered I was hooked. This was world fusion the way it should be done”.
-Jon Davis/Expose

Jim Matus studied guitar and composition at Berklee College of Music and privately with Pat Metheny and John Scofield. He is the creator of the world fusion bands Paranoise and Mawwal, which have won him critical praise internationally. He has worked in the studio with musicians Don Cherry, Percy Jones, Alicia Svigals, Anthony Jackson and Soft Machine's Hugh Hopper.



to write a review

Joe Ross

A new savory experience ... rebellious, bold & independent
It is doubtful that any of us have been to the strange, unique city (Ortahisa, Turkey) that graces the cover of Mawwal’s second album, “This is all there is, there is no other place.” Similarly, it is a new savory experience of the aural kind to hear composer/arranger Jim Matus’ fusion of tunes from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Kurdistan, Sudan, Pakistan, and other places hard to describe. Besides singing, Matus plays the laouto, saz, and mandocello. The other members of Mawwal are Joe O’Brien (bass), Jill O’Brien (vocals) and Mike Keyes (drums). Many guest musicians appear, with most of them contributing added percussion on djembe, riq, tablas, djun djun, rattles, tama, cow bell, dumbeck, kenkene, frame drum, triangle, bells, box, and shakers. Of special note are guests Jim Cole and Rohan Gregory. Cole’s harmonic singing imparts an eerie and meditative Zen-like feel to Matus’ original “Mawwaltz,” sung with “scat syllables and meaningless sounds.” Then, at the next track, the title cut is sung in both English and Aramaic. Gregory’s bow work is also a welcome complement on five of the eight tracks, although I would have equalized his violin with more low end and reverb. Mawwal plays the New England club and festival circuit, and they’re also be heard at anti-war, anti-imperialism, and pro-environment gatherings. After all, the band’s moniker comes from a type of improvisational Middle Eastern popular music that often criticizes society. Thus, Mawwal’s messages have a subtle political bent, and their daring music also displays something rebellious, bold and independent. It’s nice to see melodic creativity that incorporates elements of adventure, excitement, challenge and danger. (Joe Ross, Joshua Tree, CA.)