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Premiere: ABADIR ‘The Syriac Club’

Cairo’s ABADIR samples Coptic, Syriac, Maronite and more church choirs and chants on his hymnal new album for experimental club label SVBKVLT

ABADIR standing in a large room with white tiles. The room is dark and he is under a large spotlight, wearing blue jeans and a dark grey t-shirt.
Clara Borrelli

ABADIR returns to SVBKVLT this month with a new album, ‘Ison’. Listen to ‘The Syriac Club’ below. 

Following his feverishly percussive ‘Mutate’ LP from 2022, the Cairo producer’s latest 10-tracker takes a decidedly less dancefloor-focused route, inspired by his youth spent visiting various churches with his family, and the chants and choral hymns that he heard in them. Using samples of Coptic, Syriac, Maronite, Greek Orthodox and Catholic choirs, ABADIR designs a personal take on the music, replete with chiming synths, glitching sound designs and thunderous drums.

Speaking about the album, ABADIR said: “I present my own vision of what can be described as fresh hymns, fictional chants, or parts of a contemporary Sunday mass… This is not representational. This is not a cultural relic for the exoticizing gaze. This is purely personal; a fictional sound rooted in the present.”

Though the sounds of ‘Mutate’ – which spliced elements of jungle, dancehall, Jersey Club and footwork with Arabic rhythms and instrumentation – and ‘Ison’ are very different, ABADIR has clarified that both follow a similar approach of using the cultural surroundings of his home country to explore new, mutated sonic terrain. “If Mutate’s clubby vibe was made “to make the floor burn”, Ison is intended to cure last night’s hangover,” he said.

If that’s the case, then ‘The Syriac Club’, one of this new album’s most energised tracks, signifies the moment you finally become fully alert once more, charged and ready for another dance. Febrile drums and chopped up vocals flurry around on another with a psychedelic intensity, building and building to a rapturous climax. 

‘Ison’, which also happens to be SVBKVLT’s 60th release, will land on 27th September. Pre-order it here