Over the past few years, Palestinian experimental hip-hop producer, Muqata’a, has cemented himself as one of the central figures behind Ramallah’s burgeoning hip-hop scene, providing gritty, boundary-pushing beats that draw on a myriad of both eastern and western influences.
Last week, Muqata’a announced the release of his upcoming fifth studio album, Kamil Manqus, via Simone Trabucci-helmed label, Hundebiss Records, home of underground rap acts as Lil Ugly Mane, and the label that also handled the vinyl release of Sindibad El Wardi by fellow Palestinian hip-hop artists Shabjdeed and Al Nather.
Translating to “whole imperfect” or “perfect imperfect” from Arabic, Kamil Manqus - scheduled for release on February 5th, 2021 - uses intentional errors and ‘mistakes’ in the production process to present the notion of “breaks in an otherwise closed system.”
Drawing upon ‘Simya’, an ancient Arab occult science that blends numerology and alphabets in order to “communicate with the unseen,” Muqata’a charts the voices of his ancestors on the eight-track Kamil Manqus, sampling field recordings and live radio broadcasts to cement the album in a geography and temporality unique to his lived experience.
Alongside the music, Muqata’a is joined by longtime collaborators Basel Abbas and Ruanna Abou-Rahme, who’s explorations of non-linearity, amnesia, and deja-vu tie in closely with Kamil Manqus’ instrumental themes. This first single presents the concept of the album in practice, with numerous stutters and glitches adding spaces of pause in between surging sub bass and rattling percussion that slides between hip-hop and heavy jungle with a control and confidence indicative of many years under Muqata’a’s proverbial belt.
Follow Muqata’a on Bandcamp and instagram.