Sunday April 14th, 2024
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Palestinian duo Zenobia return with new EP ‘Warriors Never Die’

Exploring new EP from the Palestinian duo that blends traditional Arab sounds with modern electronic production.

Moataz Gwaily

Palestinian duo Zenobia return with new EP ‘Warriors Never Die’

Welcome to your new favourite Palestinian electronic duo. Introducing Zenobia, an outfit that should be receiving far more attention than they currently do. Yes, it’s time to take a look at their latest drop, the ‘Warriors Never Die’ EP.

Zenobia’s sound is enigmatic. When you first listen to it, depending on what you’ve grown up with, be prepared to be surrounded by folk-ish Arabian sounds, then Zenobia’s tight and modern production will sound like the perfect outlandish platform to launch those melodies and rhythms from. On the other hand (what’s up diaspora?), if you’ve grown up surrounded by pop, rock, electronica, or similar styles, then this EP’s Arab sensibilities will sound like a homely twist on a familiar backdrop.

‘Warriors Never Die’ is Zenobia’s first release in a whole year, and their first major output since their 2020 album ‘Halak Halak’. This 4 parts EP boasts of heroic compositions, triumphant, driving beats, and extremely high entertainment value. The 4 cuts are borderline techno, with little to no discernible harmonic motion, and a focus on consistent rhythms and electronic beats, with familiar sounding Arab-inspired melodies, courtesy of synths, and sampled traditional mazameer, among other instrumental samples, and impassioned, colourful vocals of Arab poems and melodic singing that fits the ‘Warriors’ theme quite snugly. 

The four pieces that compose the ‘Warriors Never Die’ EP are distinct, from the galloping rhythms and stabby synths of the opener cut ‘Tarweeda’, with the spectral vocals and ghost-horses atmospheres, to the feisty and syncopated 2nd part ‘Ya Yuma’, with its throbbing synth bass and instrumental samples. From the sweet melodies that open the 3rd cut ‘Olo La Emo’, which then gets abruptly interrupted by the most dance-y passage on the whole record, in a bold stylistic shift on which the piece is built, to the final cut’s funereal pace and characterful vocal deliveries. Each piece brings a new element to the table and the end result is a tapestry of unique ideas with each tastefully executed.

Zenobia definitely do deserve the hype. Firstly because ‘Warriors Never Die’ is a good sound that deserves a bit of celebration on its own, with its unique themes and crisp execution, but mostly because they bring a delicious fusion to the table. Their fusing of traditional, old Arab sounds and folk music with punchy electronica and wholesome production makes for an immersive listening experience that takes a moment to wash away. We found their music memorable, and their latest EP well worth a deep listen.

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