Live in Portland October 20 | Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall As two artists who have built …
Portland based Ali Muhareb, self-described Nü-World Psych-Pop musician, comes at his music like a fat man comes at a Golden Corral buffet. That is to say, he grabs pieces of everything, crams them into any space that they’ll fit, and nothing is off the proverbial table.
His new EP, Existentially Wasted, is a frenzied stew of eclectic instrumentation, sonic exploration and creative songwriting. The five-track finds Muhareb wending his way through the psychedelic, the ground-pounding beats, and the universal puzzle of existence.
“I Will Write A Song” slithers in with a Pink Floydian amalgamation of sounds, shimmering, echoing and rattling. Writing a song about writing a song is not a new conceit, but rather than eliciting a shoulder shrug, Muhareb draws in the listener with aggressive intrigue. “Existentially Wasted” sounds, instrumentally, like desert blues, the hand drums providing a punchy framework that differs starkly from the previous track. “Worlds Apart” takes on more of an electronic identity, although the same easy beats are there, under the surface, propelling it forward. Where “Existentially Wasted” is almost confrontational with its sound, “Worlds Apart” lays back, flowing through the ether. “Dambala Dub” is equally compelling. Essentially free from vocals, and referencing the overarching figure of life in voodoo, it is a fitting bookend for the microcosmic spiritual exploration undertaken throughout the EP.
Truly, there’s a piece of something for everyone in Existentially Wasted. As the listener, you can grab onto to what you like, and like the fat man, gorge yourself on the great buffet in the sky. »
– Charles Trowbridge