Formed in Amman, Jordan in 2013, 47SOUL is one of the region’s most beloved bands pioneering a self-described “Shamstep” sound. Let’s break that down: The base of 47SOUL’s sound is in choubi, the music performed with the Arabic Dabke, the modern wedding dance of the Bilad Al-Sham area (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan). For a more distinct sound, the band adds hip-hop beats and an electric mijwiz, a twist on the traditional double-pipe, single-reed woodwind instrument. Added all together, the music is essentially electronic Palestinian street music that the band dubs “Shamstep.”
The group’s first full release, last year’s appropriately titled Shamstep, was recorded in London. It’s full of analog synthesizers, looping guitars, and four powerful singers singing in both Arabic and English. It’s a bold statement from an ambitious band with a promising new sound.