Belgian sextet Azmari are set to release their debut album, Samā’ī, later this month through Sdban Ultra. After releasing their first EP, Ekera, in 2019, the band performed a string of European shows followed by ten days of shows in Istanbul which “opened the band’s ears to the Turkish sounds and rhythms from the 1960s”, as the press release explains. Azmari went on to develop their sound studying Turkish and Ethiopian scales and learning new instruments like the berimbau, the ney and bağlama. Citing artists such as as Okay Temiz, Mulatu Astatke, Cymande, Fela Kuti and The Heliocentrics as musical influences, the band blends ethiogroove, dub, psychfunk and eastern sounds to a mesmerising effect.
Ahead of the album release, Azmari had already shared the single ‘Azalaï’’, which refers to the semi-annual salt caravan route travelled by Tuareg traders in the Sahara desert. Take a listen below.
Samā’ī is out on January 22nd through Sdban UItra