on 16 June 2011
If you are reading this you probably have some idea what to expect of an oud - plucked strings unlimited by the presence of frets. Are 3 ouds 3 times better than one? Not usually, the ornamentation and middle eastern scales don't really lend themselves to lush harmonies. Instead this is spare, minimalistic in arrangement with often one oud at a time. There is a bigger gain from the addition of percussion giving a sense of space and openness and sometimes a welcome hint of a groove. Occasional vocals suitably drawn out and floaty to contrast the plucked oud strings with their relatively short sustain. Within this sparse, moody landscape the oud playing of the 3 Joubran brothers is faultless. To my ear, it mostly sits somewhere between sad and meloncholy with hints of anger lying beneath. Not exactly party music but in you tend to prefer your music in minor keys, it's well worth a listen.