Irade (2020)

Masaa - Irade (2018)

Irade means willpower and was chosen early on as the title for the album. The detailed and subtle Masaa sound now sounds even more lively and dynamic. It oscillates between intimacy and individual melodicism, dazzling turns and surprising contrasts, changing tempos and grooves. The quartet develops a consistently independent, incomparable sound language that in many respects artistically unites what others like to separate by imaginary barriers or real borders.

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About The Release

The new album Irade presents a change in personnel, with guitarist Reentko Dirks replacing the former pianist. This is accompanied by changes in sound and aesthetics, which Masaa knows how to use to their advantage. Rabih Lahoud's haunting, restrained vocals, adorned with arabesques, continue to be at the centre, his warm timbre over several octaves and his expressiveness up to the high register characterise all the songs of Irade. The nuanced arrangements, whose dynamics often go beyond the usual chamber music framework, have also remained. This is ensured not only by the enormous range of Lahoud's grave voice, but also by the pointed playing of trumpeter Marcus Rust, unmistakably located in contemporary jazz, and the sensitive, energetic drummer Demian Kappenstein. At their side, Reentko Dirks creates equally variable sounds with a special, double-necked acoustic guitar. On one neck, Dirks plays filigree pickings and powerful to relatively hard-strummed chords, which can sometimes even reach flamenco-like intensity. The second neck is partly strung with bass strings and partly with double strings, and there are no frets in the upper half of the fingerboard, which makes it easier to play glissandi and quarter notes. Dirks thus comes close to the sound of a double bass and the Arabian lute oud.

Irade means willpower and was chosen early on as the title for the album. The detailed and subtle Masaa sound now sounds even more lively and dynamic. It oscillates between intimacy and individual melodicism, dazzling turns and surprising contrasts, changing tempos and grooves. The quartet develops a consistently independent, incomparable sound language that in many respects artistically unites what others like to separate by imaginary barriers or real borders.