Ila Hounak

COMPOSERS: Amine M’Raihi,Hamza M’Raihi
LABELS: Laika
WORKS: Ila Hounak
PERFORMER: Amine M’Raihi (oud), Hamza M’Raihi (qanun), Heiko Dijker (tabla)
CATALOGUE NO: 3510183-2

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The M’raihi brothers from Tunis, still only in their teens, have acquired massive flair and pace on the oud and qanun. Like lute and dulcimer, the timbres mix well, and the players relate closely in quick-fire duets while showing their individual prowess in longer lyrical improvisations.

Their material ventures towards Turkey and into flamenco, and they have adopted a Dutch tabla player. He’s a touch cautious, and apart from the instrument’s timbre and the odd burst of spoken syllables he doesn’t add much that an Arab percussionist couldn’t have given.

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One track’s Indian-style ending is actually driven by the strings. The sense of being apart lifts, however, in a number where he has just the oud to play with.