Friday December 1st, 2023
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Poetry, Singing & Dark Electronica: Underher & Zanjma’s Ness’yen EP

The Tunisian collaborators come together for a unique EP that features remix work from El Mundo and Zazou, as well as Zigan Aldi.

Yara Abus-Suud

There’s something quite edifying about independent musicians of different backgrounds, in different corners of the world, coming together in the name of making music. This is very much the case for Ness’yen, a new EP released on Souq Records spearheaded by two acts of Tunisian descent, Underher and Zanjma, and with two remixes by Turkish-German Zigan Aldi and Dutch-German duo El Mundo and Zazou.

Underher is an electronic act created by Khaled Bess, a Tunisian-Canadian producer who has released work with high-profile artists including Maya Jane Coles, U2 and Books Shade, and their music has featured on six different television series. Singer-songwriter Zanjima, the EP’s ethereal vocalist, began exploring electronic music early on in her life and considers her voice and organic instrument when creating songs.The tracks ‘Ness’yen’ and ‘87’ were produced by Underher and accompanied by Zanjma’s vocals. The two tracks can be described as a fusion of North African vocals, sounds and beats, coupled with the electronic undertones of Underher’s signature stylings. Lyrically, ‘Ness’yen’ and ‘87’ feature love poems by Zanjima, as well as those of the eminent Syrian poet and diplomat Nizar Qabbani.

While Zigan Aldi leans more towards an electronic instrumental crossover and deep house, his remix of ‘Ness’yen’ softens the original, giving it a down-tempo organic house vibe. Meanwhile, El Mundo and Zazou’s remix of ‘87’ takes things towards techno territories.

It’s an eclectic EP to say the least and though it’s brief, it’s certainly memorable, with each of the project’s players finding just enough space to add their own perspective to a fine example of a shared and achieved vision.