Music Matbakh – Cooked to a sizzle! photos released

So, i wrote a little tiny bit about music matbakh’s performance two days ago here. and now here i am writing a detailed review of their performance with a few more photos for your viewing pleasure. so what is music matbakh? here’s what their Myspace page had to say: “Robert Plant’s guitarist Justin Adams, who produced the last Tinariwen album, has drawn together an extraordinary band of musicians from the Middle East and North Africa to create Music Matbakh – a title which evokes the sense of different ingredients coming together to create something delicious, with Matbakh meaning kitchen in Arabic. Musicians from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia have been stirred into the Music Matbakh pot alongside British artists – and the talent is awesome. The lineup combines traditional and cutting-edge, bringing together ancient Arabic traditions, hip hop and electronica – musicians playing the oud and the ney meet MCs, electronica masters, and guitarists putting a new spin on metal, plus a range of remarkable singers.” P7212734
in photo – Music Matbakh performs at Ras Il Ein Theater in Amman.

i was lucky enough to be one of the 500 or so people that attended this event. unfortunately, there is something that I’m finding to be quite a habit with band performances here in Jordan. they’re always late. okay, so they didn’t mean to be late this time but i couldn’t help but expect them to be! 12 musicians from all around the middle east and a couple from the U.K. jammed in perfect harmony. they’re chemistry was unparalleled in strength and potency. so i sat down in my seat, waited for them to show up and i really didn’t know what to expect! but sooner than later, i began to love the guy in the picture below more and more cause he played a part in bringing those guys here to Jordan.
in photo – British Councel representative introducing Music Matbakh.

not only were they awesome in performance, but they seem to be quite the happy bunch as well! here’s a link to their blog-like page on the british council site here.
the musicians that performed were :
Syria: Issam Rafea – Oud Moslem Rahal – ney
Morocco: Bigg – mc Hicham Bajjou – vocals
Lebanon: RGB – mc Hiba Mansour – vocals
Tunisia: Skander Besbes – electronics Lotfi Soua, percussionist
Jordan: Ruba Saqr – vocals Yacoub Said Abu Ghosh – bass guitar
Egypt Ousso – guitar Mohamed Medhat – violin
Great Britain Justin Adams – musical director Andrew McCormack – keyboards Leo Taylor – drums (with Clive Deamer at The Sage Gateshead)

each and every one of these guys was spectacular! I’ve never witnessed so much talent crammed up in one stage. individually, i could tell that they had a lot of talent and ability. their different musical styles were mixed together in a true form of fusion. forget about Fusion cuisine! this is the real fusion! where rappers and metal heads can live together in peace. which is actually the whole point of the show. learning how to live along. to live and let live. so what if we’re from different countries? so what if we come from different backgrounds. the point is, we can live together and come up with something beautiful.
in photo – a vocal jam “only two are actual vocalists” to Hicham Bajjou’s music on his instrument.

and now to our Jordanian talents, Yaqoub Abu Ghosh, a very well known and talented bassist. his 6-string bass in this performance was not what i was used to hearing from him, but it was definitely dead on spot! without him, the music would not have sounded quite as good as he laid down the foundation for the other musicians.
in photo – Yaqoub Abu Ghosh during the Music Matbakh performance.

here’s a link to his face book page here.
his music is really something to witness, he’s part of a band called “a sign of thyme.” that plays some sort of fusion/international jazzy funky trippy music that’ll blow your mind. a true musician, yaqoub will always be true to his music and passion. his performances should not be missed at all. if you’re ever in town and he’s playing, head right over there!

about Ruba Saqr, the well known vocalist/guitarist has also played a very big part in this performance where they played her song about friendship with the cookery twist! her songs are on the acoustic side. she sings in Arabic mostly and her songs carry a lot of meaning. not to mention her voice that carries the force of a thousand angels playfully tickling your soul.
in photo – Ruba Saqr sings and plays her song about friendship in the native desert accent. next to her, Mohamed Medhat on violin.

her music and songs really are a feature. here’s a link to her myspace page where she hosted some of her songs here.

and now to da lebanese rapper RGB. this man can rap! he can totally and utterly blow your mind with percision sharp-as-attack lyrics that actually make sense and fit together! he really spiced up the act and made something truly memorable of it!
in photo – RGB as he performs in music matbakh.

i can go on writing about this performance forever! the drummer was spectacular! and to think that his performance was right after a 10-hour travel! when he started jazzing things up in one of the songs i almost cried! the violin, the oud, the vocals, the percussion and keyboards…all out of this world! for those of you who missed it, you missed the time of your life! as towards the end of the show, Hicham bijjou provoked everyone’s dancing genes and everyone actually got off their seats, and started dancing! including myself! turns out i can bust a move!

conclusion, this show was awesome:
Music – 5 stars
Crowd – 5 stars
Location – 3.5 stars
Time – 4 stars
Price – 5 stars “it was free!”
Mood – 5 stars
Total – 27.5/30 stars! in my book, awesome!

here are some more photos you can look at, click to view the whole set.
P7212719 P7212754 P7212730 P7212718

i wish i could keep writing, but this story is long enough as it is. for more information about music matbakh, you can visit this page right here. for a video of their performance, check out khobbeizeh’s website here.

Photos and words by Mazen Al-Ali. All Rights Reserved.


~ by Mazz on 25 July, 2007.

12 Responses to “Music Matbakh – Cooked to a sizzle! photos released”

  1. Mazz, thank you for the review and the photoes!!! Yaqoub Abu Ghosh’s photo is just just brilliant!!! I loved the pic with Ruba and Mhammad Medhat as well.. he’s such a great musician!
    And thanks for Ruba’s MySpace link 🙂

  2. What a brilliant review! I’m so glad I was there cause I’d eat my heart out if I wasn’t!.

    I still can’t get over Ruba’s heavenly voice and all the crazy drumming that made my heart dance. What an awesome concert!

  3. Mazz, thanks for the review and photos. Any news of a recording…

  4. unfortunately, they did not record the concert. God knows why…
    but khobbeizeh does have a nice video of the concert! the link is at the end of the post
    thanks for stopping by

  5. I saw them live in syria few days before amman’s

  6. mubrook 🙂

  7. Ok Mazz, heik khajjaltna!! 🙂 thank you man for this wonderful review, I’m sure i speak in the name of everyone who is involved in the music matbakh experience when i say that nothing makes us happier than to know that people had such a good time in the show, because we had an awesome time too… and by the way, the Amman crowd proved to be probably best crowd yet! I am very proud of Amman right now!

  8. hey yacoub, it was a pleasure watching that performance! your chemistry with the band was phenomenal! keep up the good work 🙂

  9. […] something worth checking out in Amman. And music is what I dig the most. Music makes me feel alive, takes me places sometimes in a long eventful mind journey. It revives the passion and feelings once buried somewhere between […]

  10. wish I had been there!

  11. Cool review, Mazz…
    cheers 🙂

    Ruba Saqr

  12. Amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing work from all
    Alf Alf mabrouk 3alekom ya gama3a ,entom begad akeed te3ebto geddan 3alashan tetal3olna el ebda3 da.. wanna begad mo3gab bekom geddan we tayer men el far7a la2anny makontesh a3raf enenna 3andena nojom zayokom kollokom. GOD be with you. keep going n your way \m/

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