10 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

These colorful songs, sung in French, English, and Arabic by French-Algerian vocalist Nesrine Belmokh, find their foundation in the strong yet streamlined accompaniment of cellist Matthieu Saglio and percussionist David Gadea. The three coalesced as the trio NES in Valencia, Spain, and their sound is a kind of Mediterranean jazz with folk, funk, flamenco, Arabic, and classical elements, by turns sorrowful and rousing. Belmokh’s cello plays a role as well: Her pizzicato solo on “Houzni” has a pronounced oud-like quality, while her bowing on “The World Is Blue” strengthens a central repeating riff. “Happy NES” sounds just like that—grooving and carefree—but there’s a darker undercurrent to the program, culminating in the stark and solitary “Priere.” Lurking within is the hope of moving from dark to light, as the group sings together hypnotically to end “Bye Bye”: “Music is my exorcism.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

These colorful songs, sung in French, English, and Arabic by French-Algerian vocalist Nesrine Belmokh, find their foundation in the strong yet streamlined accompaniment of cellist Matthieu Saglio and percussionist David Gadea. The three coalesced as the trio NES in Valencia, Spain, and their sound is a kind of Mediterranean jazz with folk, funk, flamenco, Arabic, and classical elements, by turns sorrowful and rousing. Belmokh’s cello plays a role as well: Her pizzicato solo on “Houzni” has a pronounced oud-like quality, while her bowing on “The World Is Blue” strengthens a central repeating riff. “Happy NES” sounds just like that—grooving and carefree—but there’s a darker undercurrent to the program, culminating in the stark and solitary “Priere.” Lurking within is the hope of moving from dark to light, as the group sings together hypnotically to end “Bye Bye”: “Music is my exorcism.”

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