Deli Magazine


My New Favorite Mujahedeen
- by Travis Leipzig

Local professional chiller and former bass player of Talkative, Ali Muhareb just released a solo album, Mujahedeen, and it rips. The album displays a remarkably more dynamic musical genius than was showcased in his role with Talkative, and sounds surprisingly different than his previous group to boot. Sonically resemblant to some stoned fusion of Animal Collective and Hot Chip, Mujahedeen adds a solid new layer to Portland music that contends with the best.

"Don’t Bother Me" cheerily opens up the album riding drum clicks and a bass riff with a brilliant simplicity that somehow reminds me of Gershon Kingsley’s classic 1968 track "Popcorn." Then layered with rad guitar and a blown out vocal melody you’ll have stuck in your head all day, Mujahedeen is off to a solid start.

The second track, "So Bold" is my favorite on the album. With an almost angelic arpeggiating synth and a crunchy bass riff, Muhareb lures the listener out of their comfort zone into the depths of his psyche, like a steelhead following a spinner out from under some river rock where he was chilling. Then like a seasoned angler, the track hooks you with the hit of gently punching chords, a dope backing vocal sample and a super catchy lead vocal that questions space and time, repeating “it’ll stay like this till we grow old.”  

Another choicest of nuggets on the album is the dark and sluggish closing track "WalkIn" which incorporates some vocal sampling weirdness you’d expect from a Log Across the Washer recording. But it sounds entirely unique with the drone of his, at this point signature fuzzed out keys and bass and melodically repetitious vocal styling.

If you made it out to the Mujahedeen album release at the Firkin Tavern on Saturday night, you’d be a fool to dismiss Ali Muhareb based on the technical difficulty laden performance. It was his first live production of the one-man show and it will only get better. I for one am stoked to watch the evolution of Muhareb’s new project, as his first album is definitely something special.  


Ali Muhareb