Al-Yaman

The Prague band AL-YAMAN brings an original fusion of oriental melodic and new elements of dance music. The sound of the band is a connection of acoustic instruments and electronic music and it’s a mix of styles such as dub, trance, ambient, bhangra and others.

Yemeni singer Ashwaq Abdulla Kulaib brings a strong Arabic influence into the music. Her singing is an emotional expression mainly of traditional spiritual songs and her own experiences of life. She came to Prague in 1990 from Aden, Yemen to study and stayed. Composer, multiinstrumentalist and producer Al-esh (guitar, saz, keyboards, sampler) has worked with various bands since 1986. In 2000 he met Ashwaq and took the opportunity to form a project of oriental music, using modern technologies and traditional instruments. Short time later he met Israeli drummer Jonathan Omer who came to Prague in 1999 and decided to stay and cooperate with various bands and artists. The involvement of experienced and well respected Czech musicians such as Tomas Reindl (tabla, djembe, congas, percussion, didgeridoo, loops) and basist Jan Lstiburek and darbuka player Bashar Ashhab from Palestine is an important part of the band experience.

Very quickly after its first live performance in 2001 year, the band became a regular member of both club and festival scene in the Czech republic. Innovative, fresh and attractive sound, fusion of arabic tunes, ragga, dub and electronic dance music elements together with traditional acoustic instruments and last but not at least exotic voice and stage show of the singer Ashwaq, this all has brought to the band huge response and respect. Both Al-esh and Ashwaq have got many proposals for cooperation from such a names like Transglobal Underground, Asian Dub Foundation or Natasha Atlas, to name a few only.

The band’s debut album “Hurriya” (Freedom) was released by highly respected CZ label INDIES Rec. in 2004 and in addition to 12 original tracks it contains 2 remixes from Transglobal Underground and Hypnotix and also Muashahat video klip. The CD reached very good reactions in radios and the song „Dhykrayat” appered on German CLUBSTAR Records’ compilation “Harem’s Secret 2”. The album was nominated for Czech Music Award - ANDEL in the World Music category.

After very well received debut Hurryia Al-Yaman had many concerts in our country as well as abroad. In summer 2007 al-esh and Ashwaq decided to discontinue their activities, though. Ashwaq wanted to take care of her family, Aleš needed more time for other projects (e.g. Cartonnage) and all together they felt the need to take a break from Al-Yaman. Anyway, at the end of 2008 they decided to renew touring and recording their new album as well.
The Arabic influence of Al-Yaman is mediated by the singer Ashwaq Abdulla Kulaib from Aden. In 1990 she left Yemen, came to Prague to study and ended up staying here. Her singing is emotional expression of traditional songs of spiritual meaning and her experiences and stories from her life. Aleš Hyvnar works the samples, guitar, percussion and keyboard. The rest of the group is formed by Jonathan Omer – percussion, Jan Urbanec – base guitar, Tomáš Reindl - tabla, didgeridoo, percussion, and also altering musicians and occasional guests.


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