Sounds like: An anthropomorphized kaleidoscope.
For fans of: Panda Bear, Log Across the Washer, Ducktails, laser-light shows, El Guincho.
Why you care: While you were sleeping, Ali Muhareb wrote his debut solo album. Over a span of late nights in his bedroom on his Mac, while most doze off to Netflix, Muhareb recorded Mujahedeen, a record of groovy, tripped-out electronica. After leaving psych-punk band Talkative, Muhareb decided to flirt with the expansiveness of sound. “The newest thing I really got into was just heavy sampling,” he says, “pulling beats and melodies from all sorts of music and mashing them together to see what sticks.” In previous projects, Muhareb paid homage to his delay pedals and the stoney cartoon show Adventure Time, but with Mujahedeen, he takes his passion for the psychedelic to another level. With rhythmic drum patterns, Caribbean and African music influences and a variety of funky samples, he creates a sound wholly new to the electronic milieu. Unlike his chillwave brethren, who either wax nostalgic for the sensuality of R&B or record glorified Animal Collective tribute records, Muhareb’s music is candid and heartfelt. Portland isn’t the only one noticing, either: Since releasing Mujahedeen in December, Muhareb has planned a small tour in Germany, and will play a show in Hong Kong. While abroad, he plans to collaborate with a new hip-hop-inspired project called Death Whips and hopes to put out a second album upon his return to the States. Although he can’t set a release date—or even say when he’s coming back—he does promise that his new material will push sonic boundaries even further.
SEE IT: Ali Muhareb plays the Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont St., with Hands In, on Friday, March 14. 9 pm. $5. 21+.