Readers of Berlin Bazzar may be familiar with Parisian oud player Kamilya Jubran for her collaborative work with Swiss based trumpeter and electro-pioneer Werner Hassler. Back in 1982, while still in Jerusalem, she joined a band called Sabreen, which translates as “Those Awaiting” – an all-Palestinian band, which became the voice of the Intifada. New is that Akuphone has just come out with a vinyl reissue of Sabreen’s cult album Mawt Al-Nabi –  Death of the Prophet, initially released on cassette at the beginning of the first intifada in 1992.

Sabreen here in their second album, run the gamut  of emotions – from meditative/sorrowful to joyful/ecstatic – drawing all the while from such Arabic musical sources, most notably Umm Kulthum.

Hailed at the time as a modern Arabic band that nevertheless tended its connection to the past, forty years on – and bearing in mind the avant-garde tenor of  Jubran’s current work – the album – with its kanun and oud-laden sound – seems more steeped in the classical past than ever. Today if one sought to represent the Palestinian struggle musically, one would opt for something punkier; tweaked with electronica – which never came into questian with Sabreen forty years ago.

Robert Rigney

TRACK TO TRY A Patriotic Song