'Medieval Femme', Fatima Al Qadiri's new ten track suite inspired by the classical poems of Arab women, invokes a daydream through the metaphor of an Islamic garden, at the border between depression and desire, where the present temporarily dissolves, leaving only past and future.
Mixing neon drones and the faint outlines of Arabesque melody, 'Medieval Femme' reveals a fully-realised, dreamlike setting, shaded with colour and subtle friction. Conveying a thematic state of melancholic longing, Fatima seeks to transport the listener to a place of reverie and desolation, to question the line between two seemingly opposite states and rejoice in celestial sorrow.
'Medieval Femme' takes instrumentation from music of the Middle Ages, recast in a futuristic setting; soft-synth lutes, organs and pipes reverberate in space while gauzy pulses ripple in response. Fatima's vocals of repeated, mantra-like phrases are sometimes pitched and altered, drawing out increasingly intense peaks, angelic choruses and yearning incantations. On 'Tasakuba', Kaltham Jassim's recitation of a couplet from the 7th century poet Al-Khansa', the sorrow of her words are given a turbulent, hallucinatory setting, before the album resolves on the final song, the limpid, airy 'Zandaq'.