Wild Serenade - DuOuD
The cover photograph on DuOuD's debut is a beautiful study in light, shadow and most of all balance.Mehdi Haddab and Smadj follow the balance through into every aspect of this intriguing musical project centred around the barrel-bottomed North African lute called an 'Oud'. Balance plays out in their unique duet arrangements on the instrument. It also holds up through the recording and the pair's electronic manipulations. Again, the delicate subtleties of the oud are not sacrificed to the pure and powerful electronic elements. Mehdi at least is not new to tinkering with traditional sounds in untraditional arrangements. He is/was one third of Ekova who perked up ears with their phenomenal release 'Heaven's Dust'. On stage with the Vive La World tour this year, the artist currently known as Smadj was maybe a little too enthusiastic to show off his computer gadgets (introducing several songs in a pitch-shifted chipmunk from space voice). Nevertheless, DuOuD stole the show and Wild Serenade captures their unique performance in a superb recording.