Malayeen is a trio of Lebanese musicians Raed Yassin (a founding member of A-Trio, one of Lebanon’s most renowned free improv outfits), Charbel Haber (from experimental rock bands Scrambled Eggs, XEFM and BAO), and Khaled Yassine (a member of Tunisian oud player Anouar Brahem’s oriental jazz ensemble).
Malayeen was born from Yassin and Haber's love for the music of quintessential Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid, and their desire to create a contemporary trio that would study, revisit and modernize his music, and bring it full circle into the 21st century.
Master percussionist Khaled Yassine was added to the project at a later phase, creating in the process a Lebanese experimental “supergroup” of sorts. The final result consists of original and unique trio music, as the 3 musicians’ varied backgrounds collide and coalesce in subdued and restrained fashion, not actually playing Khorshid's music, but inspiring themselves from the cult guitarist’s genius to create something completely new, modern and unexpected. “Malayeen” is released by Lebanese experimental label Annihaya.
The aim of the label is to revisit and displace various forms of popular culture, whether from the realms of oriental folk music, jazz or electronica, branding them in the process with a resolutely contemporary twist.
Previous Annihaya releases have included works by Japanese turntablist DJ Sniff, Swiss/Lebanese electronic duo Praed, a selection of North African-inspired Sun City Girls ditties, and an album of “noir electronica” by Lebanese techno producer Rabih Beaini aka Morphosis. As such, it was only natural that the label would be interested in releasing the music of the Malayeen trio!