Field Records is proud to present a new experimental mini album from Scott Monteith aka Deadbeat that touches on the traditional music of Qawwali. Entitled Qawwali Quatsch, it feature lots of transcendental sounds and hypnotic violins and voices across eight tracks, and is due for release in October 2016.
This absorbing album came about after Monteith—best known for his dub techno—attended the 2015 Wasser Musik festival in Berlin, which featured music from both the coastal and land locked regions of India and Pakistan. One performer was Asif Ali Kahn and his “Qawwali party,” as Qawwali bands are appropriately known, and his show really struck a chord.
“One feels like a truly changed person after witnessing [shows like this]” says Monteith, who reckons he spent weeks afterwards lost in “long, dark, late night YouTube rabbit holes absorbing every shred of qawwali artists and performances I could get my ears on.” After learning some of the history of this traditional sound, cross referencing the great Qawwali singers and families across generations, he yearned to try and integrate "even a shred of the awesome power" he experienced in his own music, and spent several months studying scales and rhythms and experimenting with different sampling techniques.
“But try as I might, the results always came off as some kind of trite, pan-globalist, cultural touristing, world beat garbage and I ultimately gave up in frustration." Later in the year Monteith began sharing a studio with Berlin mainstay T Raumschmiere. In this new environment, a drunken late night trawl through the hard drive lead him back to the Qawwali bookmarks folder and he began feeding shredded, stretched, and otherwise beaten black and blue bits and pieces of the material through the new studio's mics, pedals, and preamps. "It felt like a perfect meeting of my current working methods shot through the tools of my earliest youthful music making experiments.” says Monteith of the experience. Upon completion of these initial recordings, he then sent the results to long time friend and collaborator Sophie Trudeau of Godspeed You Black Emperor! fame for additional violin and voice treatments.
The resulting music (which the artist admits is just a humble experiment galaxies away from the real power of the source material that inspired it) makes up this first album under his own name, and is a sympathetically infused album that ably captures the spirit of the revelatory, life changing music that is Qawwali, and an entry quite unlike any other in his now vast catalog.