This Is All There Is There Is No Other Place
Inventive vocal arrangements in English and Arabic is supported by a laouto (Greek lute) and augmented by traditional percussion (tabla, dumbek, frame drum, riq) and violin in what has been called a 'new genre' by Progression Magazine. 'Unconventional, fantastical and delightfully extravagant, Mawwal's This Is All There Is There Is No Other Place is magically mesmerizing." -WORLD MUSIC CENTRAL "From the first track, listening to Mawwal's this is all there is, there is no other place is like absorbing some bizarre hallucinogenic compound through your armpits in a Waziristan sweat lodge. Drawing heavily on traditional Middle Eastern/ South Asian music and academic icons like Joe Zawinul and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the contemporary arrangement of these rooted-in-tradition pieces is, well, seriously cool." -Tom Sturm (Valley Advocate) "For the first impression of Black Flies, it's hard to get beyond 'wow!'... For me, this is what 'progressive' music is all about.... For my taste, this is album is just about perfect in every way. The compositions are intricate and engaging and the musical performances are nothing short of spectacular.... a fascinating brew. Bumping this album off my 'Best of 2007' list this year will be quite a feat, Black Flies is essential! -- Fred Trafton/Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive rock In my experience, Mawwal's world fusion is peerless in it's passion and delivery. Mac Beaulieu/Expose magazine "From Paranoise main man Jim Matus comes Mawwal, a project that transmorgrifies the indigenous musics of the nuclear near and middle east into a bouncy world beat that will make you ponder as well as dance. Jim brings this huge potpouri together under his personal umbrella. You mustn't forget either that he is a master of the laouto, a lute native to Crete.....The harmonically spiky non-Western ethos of 'Jackal's Wedding' orthe subtle, low-fly-by chromaticism of 'Haq Ali' may shake you from your stupor". -John Patrick/Progression "Percy Jones' turgid bassline yanked my attention straight into Mawwal's album opener 'Tara Torna.' 'That's allowed?!' I thought as his monster chord brought resolution to a slippery pitch-bend from the female chorus. Thirty-six seconds into this disc and I was already bugging out. On paper, Mawwal reads like a world fusion band, which makes them sound boring. Many world bands lack a galvanizing, listenable reason to stick various musical traditions in the blender. Mawwal, however, is the product of a firmly grounded vision. Band mastermind Jim Matus weaves traditional lyrics from Bulgaria, Libya, Sufi songs, and Malinke chants into lush rock arrangements. At the same time, he casts the music against a backdrop of radical political dissent, and roots it in compassion, brotherhood, and anger". -Dan Barry/ HARTFORD ADVOCATE "I don't know why I didn't slide this one into the player the moment it arrived. Boom! Right off the bat it grabbed me with drums the size of a continent, massed vocals and a bit later electric guitar and bass. And that bass! The unmistakable sound sent me running for the credits, yes, there it was: Percy jones. By the time the electric violin entered I was hooked. This was world fusion the way it should be done". -Jon Davis/Expose Jim Matus studied guitar and composition at Berklee College of Music and privately with Pat Metheny and John Scofield. He is the creator of the world fusion bands Paranoise and Mawwal, which have won him critical praise internationally. He has worked in the studio with musicians Don Cherry, Percy Jones, Alicia Svigals, Anthony Jackson and Soft Machine's Hugh Hopper.