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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Xaligha by Saiid Zeidan

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Welcome all to ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.

Charles attempts the impossible - describing sound.

The reason I say sound, is because this week is a little different from my usual ramblings. Different and the same. I write in a somewhat ridiculous fashion, and so there will be more of that. But this time, the music is less about song, and more about sound. Rather than describing what happens, I will simply tell you in the present tense what I saw last evening when I closed my eyes to listen to Xaligha, by Saiid Zeidan. Focus:

I am a mouse-like version of myself. Trapped, yet able to move forwards. Only forwards. I am crawling on my hands and knees, through cardboard boxes. As I reach the end of each, the flaps part ways to reveal another. Box after box after box. Each angled slightly upwards, making in effect an eventual continuous endless circle. Reminiscent of a hamsterโ€™s wheel in zero gravity? I certainly feel comfortably caged. I canโ€™t quite work out if I am moving forwards through the cardboard cubes or if they are moving backwards around me. I suppose this may be what Jamiroquai meant by Travelling Without Movingโ€ฆ

The light is dark yet somehow distracting. As if a torch is flashed occasionally across my face, yet never quite being sure if ever there was a light of any kind. It is endless. I see it is endless. I know it endless, but hypnosis seduces me and urges me to keep on going. The boxes start to rotate, but I am suspended somehow like a perfectly balanced gyroscope. The motor slows. The machine halts. I am nervously waiting. What next? Smoke sneaks around me like a daredevil whisper, but breathes like pure oxygen. It hisses and sighs like a fireโ€™s exhaustion, but still has the passion to play.

The cogs start to crank. The turbine is in free flow. My floor, my ceiling, my walls come to life with throbbing colour behind smearless glass. The wheel keeps on revolving. The hues evolving from one to the next with every turn. And still, I am suspended. I too am powered by this machine, and have not to move to be thrust forth through this never-ending tunnel of dreamlike wonder. I allow myself to bounce lightly from side to side.

Enormous weight comes over me and I am forced to use my own power to keep up with this perpetual motion. The warping colour turns strobe-like. The comfortable warmth is swiped cruelly away from me and replaced with a frost that bites like a vicious, icy wind. Shapes appear one after another like haunting images of a past I never had. They move with pace from left to right; enough time for me to focus, not enough for me to dwell. A face, a rabbit, a skull, a chair, a second face, a hatstand, a camera and eventually a lightbulb. This bulb pauses and hovers unmoving, directly centred between my eyes. I wince hesitantly at its blinding glare, but it wills me to loosen and let go.

I am in a trance, captivated by its glowing element. the wind subsides and the light warms me. The lightbulb starts to bob up and down - I donโ€™t mind. It is snoozing, and so am I. It awakes unhappily and I am snapped into action, at once realising a motherโ€™s vital instinct when their young baby stirs. The bobbing has turned to furious shaking, like the anger one takes out on a can of fly spray, moments before zapping the bastard. The bulbโ€™s rage can be contained no longer and shatters into a million sparkling shards. They are detonated in every direction like a Swarovski firework in slow motion. As each fragment falls, it turns to rain, but evaporates before hitting the ground. Everything around seems to dissolve and disappear, and I am left not as a mouse but as a man, in a wide, dark, open space.

So yes! My brain is a strange place. But this is honestly what happened in my mind when I listened to Saiid Zeidanโ€™s subtly kaleidoscopic latest single.

It is captivating in a curious way, and slightly reminiscent of Jon Hopkins (who was influenced by Brian Eno). Musically, little happens. But as I said from the outset, this is more about sound. After all, isnโ€™t music simply sound?

Listen to ๐™“๐™–๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™– HERE!

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