The Maghreban aka Ayman Rostom is one of the most unique and respected beat makers working in house and techno today. His dusky grooves, heavy bass pressure and clanking drum breaks sound like they were dredged from the bottom of the river Nile, imbued with a maverick personality that shares kinship with the likes of Detroit’s Andres and Waajed, making him a perfect fit on R&S’s storied roster of pioneering outsiders.
In the past four years, he has released a slew of hotly tipped 12”s, mainly on his own label, Zoot, as well as French label Versatile and Bristolian beat mongers Black Acre. Also known as acclaimed hip-hop producer Dr Zygote (also one half of Eglo’s Strange U) Rostom has gained a reputation as a producer’s producer, garnering heavyweight tastemaker support from the likes of Benji B, Ben UFO, Nicolas Jaar, Trevor Jackson and many others.
After the extended clamour for a Maghreban long player, the wait is over as Rostom is finally ready to unleash his debut album ‘01DEAS’. “The 12” format is great for the club, but I wanted to go a bit deeper with it, and explore different moods and ideas,” Rostom explains.
Packed with richly satisfying cuts, the album draws on the Maghreban’s usual musical themes; 90s Home Counties rave, ‘93 dark jungle, 80s Steppers reggae, Broken Beat, dark modal jazz, colonial Afro Rock and psychedelia. Despite this eclecticism however, it is the consistently seductive groove at the centre of his music that is the key to his music’s ability to entrance the listener.
“Growing up, I remember long car journeys with my dad, he always played a bunch of arabic music, Mohammad Abdel Wahab, Om Kalthoum, Abdel Halim Hafez, as well as Paul Young, Dire Straits, Bob Marley, Otis Redding” Rostom explains. “He used to drum on the steering wheel like a tabla with his palms and fingers - I think that definitely helped me understand rhythm and syncopation.”
Rostom’s love of analogue technology is another key feature of his music, his process often finds him sampling from cassette tapes, employing wheezing compressors, dusty mixing desks and antique effects devices to impart texture, warmth and weight, or as he has described it “The hypnotic sound of confusion”.
For the first time, the album sees Rostom joined by a stellar cast of guests including Brighton based songstress Victoria Port of Anushka, Zimbabwean vocalist Rutendo Machiridza, rapper A-F-R-O, and best friend Gatto Fritto.
The Maghreban - 01DEAS
Release Date: 23rd March 2018
2. Crime Jazz
3. Can’t Breathe (feat. Anushka)
4. Hi Top Remix (feat AFR_O)
6. Mike’s Afro (feat Gatto Fritto)
8. Revenge (feat Rutendo Machiridza)
11. Mr. Brown
Stream the track ‘Sham’ here