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The Tenets of Forgetting

Msylma & Ismael | Éditions Appærent | APP003


Limited vinyl version of "The Tenets of Forgetting" featuring artwork by Jesse Osborne-Lanthier and Omar El-Sadek and a hi-q lyrics insert.

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Format: Vinyl
The Tenets of Forgetting is the long-awaited follow-up to MSYLMA’s lauded 2019 debut, Dhil-un Taht Shajarat Al-Zaqum. This time he’s joined by fellow musician and producer ISMAEL for seven tracks, built around a lush palette of synths and MSYLMA’s singular voice.

Written and produced in Cairo between 2015 and 2020, The Tenets of Forgetting is the first collaboration between MSYLMA and ISMAEL. Like his first record, The Tenets of Forgetting finds MSYLMA singing in classical Arabic, and the musicians have enlisted Nariman Youssef to provide translations of the lyrics. This gesture of openness runs parallel to the themes of the record; romance and vulnerability; growth and change; pathos and passion. Listeners who aren’t familiar with pre-Islamic poetry or classical Arabic will find the lyrics just as rich and beautiful as the vocal melodies imply, telling a story of love, loss, self-doubt, and grave introspection.

Musically, the album moves in broad, painterly sweeps of 808 kicks, rich synthesizer chords, and MYSLMA’s soaring, plaintive voice. The English translations reveal a second world of mathematically sound rhythmic structures and poetry in the lyrics. The music pushes and pulls in both tempo and timbre, swirling both around and underneath MSYLMA’s voice but never losing a sense of self-contained narrative.

The album is rounded out by Jesse Osborne-Lanthier and Omar El-Sadek’s immersive, esoteric art, and features additional production on track 7 by Osborne-Lanthier, Pierre Guerineau, and Asaël Robitaille.


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