Words by Zinedine Ali-Khan
The Emergence of Islamic House is a recent phenomenon that has crystallized in a readily identifiable sound that fertilizes in Historic Anatolia and uses producers from across the world. Hallmarks of Islamic House can be characterized by the use of local string instruments such as the Saz, Kanun, Kaval and using a suiting 128 bpm rhythm that often uses elements of organic local percussion such as the "Tef" tambourine to achieve a very Andalusian sound that can still appeal to modern day listeners of Deep House & Trance.
Emotionally, there is a unique non-western angle to how these songs are able to pull the listener into an ancient land, sparking pensive yet inspirational feelings. There is no doubt that Istanbul, a bustling world metropolis that is fueling the spread of this vibe, is a primary flaship city for the movement. Here’s Mudasser Ali (DATA-X Studio) with his ethos on the new emerging sound:
“A big part of Islamic house to me is a frustration and maybe straight boredom of western sounds. We’re not very good at sampling or incorporating local instruments into our 128 BPM. That being said the eastern world doesn’t really know too much about house so to be able to bring these two together for me was in part because I value really good house but I do tend to get bored by the overly nihilistic almost soul-less approach to house we have in the Western world. It’s not just about ibiza, it’s not just beach house, we have to start saying something. Even if it’s a far off place, like Flanders Field, it can be a big part of our lives in North America but still be physically far away. We have to start reminding ourselves of the past not just float on empty references.
I think it’s a unifying force for a lot of people that come from original mesopotamia or are aryan. This new sound is just too sweet. I wouldn't be surprised if it spawns a whole new approach to music and intermixing of pretty much everyone that loves world culture and is just bored with this imperialist music-industry soul deadening they've had us on for a century now. The producers i’ve featured have been working tirelessly their whole careers to perfect their sound and it seems to have come together kind of innocently in 2020.
I sent it to my boy Niko from MOONBASE with the artwork & they gave me immediate support on their official Soundcloud, that’s when I knew I was on to something.
I can guarantee you that these producers have no idea i’m talking about them. Islamic House is definitely my category, I researched the name, developed sound matrices & developed a funnel system at 4 seperate analysis points. BPM matches were simple since you realize the tempo they all kind of end up at & finally, a fine ear for local instruments that absolutely cannot be replicated. Eventually this is going to become a simple thing for people but for now, i can sniff out islamic house in anything from afro beat, reggaeton, folk anything, the matrix is developed for me already. For others it should take them about a month or so if they use my playlists as guides. I want people to appreciate how it’s not just Turkey that’s ultra dominating Romania, Bulgaria & Algeria are potential hotbeds if you ask me. We have Europe to Armenia to North Africa involved: this is an international kid’s dream come true, Alhamdulillah.”
Check Out the Playlist Mix by DATA-X above & follow him on Instagram to keep up with all his updates.