Rise of the Shamstep

47Soul – Balfron Promise (Cooking Vinyl, 2018)

Balfron Promise is an album by 47Soul, a shamstep band that has been getting a lot of attention in the British press. Although currently based in London, the four musicians have Palestinian and Jordanian roots.

Shamstep is a genre created by 47Soul in which Palestinian traditional music such as dabke is combined with cutting edge electronic music and vocals in Arabic.

The synthesizer player produces some of most fascinating elements in the band, injecting high energy Middle Eastern melodies using distorted synthesizer sounds. The rhythm section is formidable, mixing electronic beats and acoustic percussion such as darbuka.

The lyrics focus on social injustice in London (Balfron Promise refers to residents of Balfron Tower being evicted due to gentrification) and sociopolitical problems in the Middle East.
The lineup includes Z the People on vocals and synthesizers; El Far3i (Tareq Abu Kwaik) on darbuka and vocals; Walaa Sbeit on percussion and vocals; and El Jehaz on guitar and vocals.

Buy Balfron Promise

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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