Mazen Kerbaj: trumpet
Christine Sehnaoui: alto saxophone
Sharif Sehnaoui: electric guitar
Ingar Zach: percussion
Free improvising from Beirut that is definitely worth tracking down, although just 500 copies have been pressed. "Rouba3i", it seems, derives from the Arabic word for quartet. Trumpeter Mazen Kerbaj, alto saxophonist Christine Sehnaoui and guitarist Sharif Sehnaoui are a trio of Lebanese musicians who invite a series of percussionists to occupy the fourth corner of their group. for this incarnation – the fifth, hence Rouba3i5 - they are joined by Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach, who suits the frictional buzz and burr of their style exceptionally well. Each member of the trio has pared away all obvious instrumental attributes, resulting in sound sources effectively geared to realise a shared musical vision of grainy agitated textures overlaid, overlapped and intersecting. Abstracted sounds seep and trickle, punctuated with pops and staccato chatter, across two pieces that are remarkably consistent in character and quality.
Julian Cowley | The Wire