The debut album of Alamut is the greatest revelation on the Polish world music scene in the last couple of months. Alamut appeared out of the blue and rather quietly. They didn't play a lot, but those who had been lucky enough to hear them, where truly impressed. No wonder – their music goes far beyond the constraints of Polish folk music scene. Seems you can hear echoes of Balkan and Middle Eastern harmonies, but branded with jazz improvisation, or written into the context of ascetic minimalistic music, so that in the end you only vaguely recall their flavour. Rather dark, cool sounds are touched with the light of Asja's voice – bringing to mind the sound of Far East, but also close to ecstatic rhythms of Arabic mysticism. All that can be heard on the debut CD, "Alamut"
Like Osjan or Karpaty Magiczne, the musicians of Alamut on the one hand place ritual sounds of ethnic music in the foreground, at the same time linking them with what has been hot in the electronic, rock, and jazz avant garde of the last twenty years. Asja's voice is deep and in a disturbing crescendo, from modest South-European melodies to ecstatic Middle Eastern vocalizing, with a combination of repetitive trans-like rhythms in the background. At the same time, we are greeted with less prominent, but equally interesting sounds of the West: double base or free improvisation of ethnic instruments, playing homage to masters such as Bill Laswell, David Byrne or John Zorn.
Most importantly, however, the two levels ideally complement each other.