Dudu Tassa & Jonny Greenwood – “Ashufak Shay” (Feat. Rashid al-Najjar)

Israeli rock performer Dudu Tassa is teaming up with Radiohead/The Smile’s Jonny Greenwood for a new collaborative record. Titled Jarak Qaribak, their joint project will be out June 9 on World Circuit Records. Produced by Tassa and Greenwood and mixed by Radiohead favorite Nigel Godrich, Jarak Qaribak features a number of vocalists and musicians from across the Middle East. Along with the album announcement, Tassa and Greenwood are sharing lead single “Ashufak Shay” featuring Lebanese vocalist Rashid al-Najjar.

“When people listen to this music,” says Dudu Tassa, “I really love to imagine them thinking…what is this? It sounds 1970s, but there are drum machines, there are guitars but they’re singing in Arabic…what’s going on?” Meanwhile, about assembling the album’s tracks, Greenwood says he was “trying to imagine what Kraftwerk would have done if they’d been in Cairo in the 1970s.”

Greenwood continues: “We didn’t want to make out that we’re making any political point, but I do understand that as soon as you do anything in that part of the world it becomes political, even if it’s just artistic. Actually, possibly especially if it’s artistic.”

Tassa adds: “Israel is a small country between all those countries, so we’re very influenced by those cultures and by that music. And a lot of us in Israel—like my family—are descended from people who came here from elsewhere in the Middle East, so everything gets mixed up.”

Listen to “Ashufak Shay” below.

01 “Djit Nishrab (Feat. Ahmed Doma)
02 “Ashufak Shay” (Feat. Rashid Al Najjar)
03 “Taq ou-Dub” (Feat. Nour Freteikh)
04 “Leylet Hub” (Feat. Mohssine Salaheddine)
05 “Ya Mughir al-Ghazala” (Feat. Karrar Alsaadi)
06 “Ahibak” (Feat. Safae Essafi)
07 “Ya ‘Anid Ya Yaba” (Feat. Lynn A.)
08 “Lhla Yzid Ikthar”
09 “Jan al-Galb Salik” (Feat. Noamane Chaari & Zaineb Elouati)

Jarak Qaribak will be out 6/9 on World Circuit Records. Pre-order it here.