HomeMusicShameless Tuesdays: Livre 139 | The Shadow Majlis

Shameless Tuesdays: Livre 139 | The Shadow Majlis

Shameless Tuesdays: Livre 139 | The Shadow Majlis

Great albums aren't just a treat for the ears; they're also gateways to mind-blowing journeys. Toronto's The Shadow Majlis takes listeners on a worldly trip on their latest album The Departure. Whether said departure is permanent or temporary is up to one's interpretation, but one thing's for certain: it's a wild adventure! The album is not short of epic sounds, ranging from powerful string sections and hypnotic sitars to even Tuvian throat singing! It all molds together to create an album that will have listeners diving deep into finding their true selves. But before you take that trip, The Shadow Majlis will take you through the soundtrack of their lives in this week's Shameless Tuesdays!

Here's what The Shadow Majlis's Ali Jafri has to say about this week's playlist:

I made this playlist as more of a soundtrack to my life than a collection of my favourites although many of my favourites are present on this list, I decided to start with AC/DC, because “Dirty Deeds” is one of the first songs I remember hearing on the radio and incidentally was my late son Oisín’s favourite band. I think it’s an apropos way to begin this list considering the album I just released is dedicated to Oisín’s memory. I start off with some songs from the 70s / early 80s from when I was young growing up in Mississauga Ontario, breakdancing was big and Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” was a big song from my childhood. I’m proud to say that my list is very diverse and covers a lot of genres, this list being a short soundtrack of my life (I've had to leave out SO MANY greats!) shows the diversity with which I grew up.

The first concert ever for me was Gowan, so that’s why he’s on the list. And I am incorporating The Pixies, Love and Rockets and The Cure in the order they appeared on that night I saw them during The Cure’s Prayer Tour in 1989. That was the night I decided I needed to become a musician. It changed my life literally. Those three bands are very important to me. I then carried on into some of the shoegaze bands that I like as the guitar work in a lot of the shoegaze bands represent some of the sounds that I like to use and create as I'm inspired by them. Peter Gabriel‘s in there as a great example of someone who my producer, David Bottrill has worked with and Gabriel is a pioneer in bringing together cultures as Real World Studios and the record label demonstrate as what they do is very much in line with what I am about as an artist speaking of bringing things together. I am a Peter Gabriel fan.

I love the common thread that I’ve drawn through the genres on this list, in particular, the link between Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Kiss Them For Me” and Schoolly D’s “PSK What Does It Mean?” A lot of the genres that spoke to me are the genres that have a bit of a rebellious attitude whether it’s reggae, hip-hop, punk rock, industrial, post punk. They all share that and I love seeing when genres have a connection like Siouxsie and Schoolly D, crossovers are amazing to me. Of course I’ve included the Run-DMC and Aerosmith collaboration, plus Anthrax and Public Enemy. I’ve always loved conscious hip-hop and I think Chuck D is the best.

From there we get into some Pigface, a legendary Industrial supergroup that I’ve collaborated with that also is all about blending cultures, styles, genres and instrumentation. As one of Pigface’s sitar players “Kiss King”, is one of my favourite Pigface songs to listen to as it features the beautiful sitar playing by Bobdog Catlin. Of course, there is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Pakistani Sufi music star, collaborated very famously with Peter Gabriel. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include that on this list. We get into a little bit of the world music side and the fusions there and bands like Dead Can Dance, Mercan Dede, who is a personal friend of mine has introduced me to the sufi community that I am linked to and sing play music with, I’ve also thrown in some of my own music from my solo project under my name which also blends cultures. LKK features Selmanpak Ayduz, a Turkish ney player introduced to me by Mercan Dede. Selman also appears on ‘Beshno Az Ney” and “Love In Flames” on my latest offering.

‘Sati Mati” by my band of 20 yrs Ariel, again a project that blends cultures features my tabla teacher and friend Ed Hanley on tabla. From there, the list moves into some of the other bands in the industrial, post punk genres, and I believe all of these bands, and songs on this playlist have in some way influenced the sounds I have explored on this album from Skinny Puppy’s industrial sounds to Bauhaus’ reggae feel and the inclusion of my personal east and west identity as a Canadian born member of the Pakistani community. The coming together of Sly and Robbie plus Sinead O’Connor, what a powerful combination, I saw them live. I had to include them. From my band Ariel I include the song “Insaan” which is a collaboration we did with Japanese Taiko drummers, Yakudo. I chose Tool as Pneuma was a song my late son and I would listen to when he was ill. Tool’s earlier works share producer David Bottrill with The Shadow Majlis and also I have a connection with Danny Carey as Pigface bandmates in 2019.

Tricky is on this as well and also collaborated with Tool, Mark Gemini Thwaite. (guest guitarist on “Swallowed By The Sky” and “Savage Castaway” from my latest album) played with Tricky. Mark also introduced me to Bottrill when MGT, Peter Murphy and David J did Bauhaus songs for the “RUBY’ tour . Of course I’ve got Dakhabrakha because Olena contributed beautifully to the title track and her group is a favourite of mine. I’ve got Just For Love by Peter Murphy as Mercan Dede produced that and fits nicely with the list. I close it out with Soriah’s “Red Sky”. He’s a good friend introduced to me by David J, and appears on “Deer In The Headlights” and “Savage Cstaway” on my album. Soriah is a compelling performer who not only has ties to Bauhaus, but also Skinny Puppy. I thought it would be really nice to end this playlist with him.

I hope you enjoy the diversity of this playlist, of the interconnectedness of many of these bands artists and genres and the message of inclusion in the spirit of collaboration that can be found throughout. I love how music does that that nothing else can. Thank you.

For more information on The Shadow Majlis, visit their official website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Check out The Departure below via their Bandcamp!

Promotional consideration provided by Shameless Promotion PR.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)