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Shakeeb Abu Hamdan & Sholto Dobie – It's Worse

Following the cancellation of their Central European tour as a duo in June 2020, Shakeeb Abu Hamdan and Sholto Dobie, together and apart, unveil a remote sonic partition between their respective abodes in Lebanon and Lithuania. Letting a melange of new and archival material wind around each other, swell back and forth and coalesce into a nebulous mass, they tease the temporality of real time improvisation, opting instead for a near mythical, ghost-like exchange. 

The two have never played together in real life, and while each sonic element can sing on its own, nothing falls out of the frame or feels like a loose fractal. Sholto's self-built organ breathes deep sighs and hisses, meeting Shakeeb's undulating electronics and ricocheting rhythmics in a series of harmonic, tumbling gestures. Like Limpe Fuchs' work with Anima, there is space given for elements to clatter and scatter, but also bring towards circling motifs. Organ dirges & patterned drums emerge out of the misty plains, raising themselves skywards.

Sholto and Shakeeb's own locality might or might not have contributed to their ventures, but we can't help but feel an imprint embossed in its genetic make-up. Listen closely and one can hear the spectres of regional folk musics, ceremonies, lonely streets, day-to-day banality... Together they let their complex inner & outer worlds meet and dance in a sonic apparition.
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Shakeeb Abu Hamdan: drums, amplified drums and electronics
Sholto Dobie: self-built organ

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Drum parts on tracks one and three: from a live recording by Graham Dunning at The Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow 2019. Tracks two, four and five: recorded by Shakeeb Abu Hamdan at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut 2018 - 2019.

Organ parts on tracks one, three and five: recorded by Simas Okas and Vytautas Franukevičius in Vilnius 2020. Track two: recorded in Empty Brain Resort, Vilnius 2020. Track four: recorded in the studio of Arturas Bumšteinas and Gailė Griciūtė, SODAS 2123, Vilnius 2020. 

Assembled and mixed by Shakeeb Abu Hamdan in Beirut and Gharifeh, July - August 2020
Mastered by John Hannon at NO

Cover design by Oliver Barrett

Tracklisting:
1. Slows O’er [07:14]
2. Pond Clack [02:52]
3. It’s Worse [04:02]
4. Banishment [03:08]
5. Sling-Shotting [03:55]

Sholto Dobie

Sholto Dobie is an artist and performer living in London. He uses loose structures and and array of instruments including home-made organs and bagpipes, field recordings, guitar, concertina and anything else that comes to hand. His performances are personal and intuitive, often coming across as delicate, evocative, and absurd.

He has presented solo performances at Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Cafe OTO, Glasgow International and CCA, Glasgow. He has released music on Cosmovisión registros andinos and OtoRoku. He regularly collaborates with Ben Pritchard, and has played in combinations with Ashley Paul, Mark Harwood, Lia Mazzari, United Bible Studies, Billy Steiger and Ivor Kallin.

He is also runs the event series Muckle Mouth which he founded in 2014 and co-curates at The Horse Hospital in London.

www.mucklemouth.com

Sholto Dobie

Shakeeb Abu Hamdan

Shakeeb Abu Hamdan is an artist and musician living in Beirut, Lebanon. His performances centre around the use of drums, collected metals, bells and cymbals which he augments and amplifies with surface transducers, microphones, pitch and rhythmic modulation effects, cheap looping megaphones and other lo-tech electronics. A precarious balance between the acoustic and amplified sounds and the reactivity of the various instruments allow for generative accidents within loose compositions.

He was actively involved in the DIY/experimental music scenes in the UK over the years, playing in various experimental rock/weird punk bands and running Ouse, a recording studio and label, the C&R collective/zine and organizing Total Inertia, an experimental music festival in Leeds.