Azu Tiwaline & Cinna Peyghamy
TUNISIA & FRANCE | Live
Nothing happens overnight. Behind every emergence, there’s years of work, thought and preparation – both intentional and unconscious – that’s gone unseen.
So the past year might have been a ‘breakout’ year for Azu Tiwaline, but it was really built over two decades of experimentation, soul-searching – both creative and personal – and exploration. “A new name for a new spirit” as she likes to say, but with an unmistakable identity rooted in her history and ancestry.
On her debut album as Azu Tiwaline, Draw Me A Silence, a record released in two parts with her family at I.O.T., she fused together two halves of her own heritage, inspired by a new home in the desert. Personal history collided with family heritage: half step rhythms from a career in bass music met the warm winds and wide open silence of El Djerid in Tunisia.
When music is sincere and honest, it tends to reverberate more widely, and deeply. The tracks written for the Magnetic Service EP were sent to one label and one label only, Livity Sound, who picked it up instantly. Something about the spacious, yet dense sonics – crafted with the help of percussionist Cinna Peyghamy – resonated with listeners starved of both the community of the dancefloor and the space of the outside world. The EP became one of the Bristol label’s most heralded releases of 2020, featuring in end of year coverage from Bandcamp to Resident Advisor.
Cinna Peyghamy (fka Cikkun) is a Paris based electronic musician and sound artist. He plays Tombak, an iranian percussion that he transforms and blends with his modular system, creating something unexpected
Beneath the calm of her productions, a restless spirit inhabits Azu, born out of months and years spent on the road. In 2020, it was her music that took her places. She put together a series of podcast mixes that echoed the percussive, rhythmic curves of her own productions, for Boiler Room, Dekmantel and Crack Mag. She distilled Fazer Drums’ percussive experiments into dubby downtempo with a remix, and contributed her most rooted track yet – Violet Curves with Cinna Peyghamy – to On the Corner’s Door to The Cosmos compilation.
This year, she’ll continue her itinerant wanderings, starting with a remix EP for Draw Me A Silence, with Flore, Laksa and Don’t DJ – a Lyon-Bristol-Berlin trifecta of similarly minded rhythmic innovators – twisting and warping her work into new shapes… Available on vinyl and digital.
This will be followed by the Extended version of the album with a gorgeous ambient bonus track “Eyes of the Wind”, accompanied by a video clip directed by Azu Tiwaline, shot in her desert lands. This track will be appearing in a digital re-upload reunifying Draw Me A Silence Part.I and II. As a sort of final chapter of this debut album.
As for the rest? We’ll see what 2021 has to offer for both the world and Azu Tiwaline. In the meantime, take inspiration from her music: keep the tempo steady, let some light in, and listen for the silence.
DJ MAG UK: 9/10 et Tune of the Month!
MIXMAG UK: Chronique 7/10
GROOVE.DE: disque de la semaine
TELERAMA (chronique et mention fff): “Azu Tiwaline s’essaye a l’ambiant sahraouie en clair-obscur. Sa pluie de beats mid-tempo s’y perd dans l’écho des dunes créant une hallucination minérale”
Playlisté sur la BBC Radio 6 Music par Tom Ravenscroft
BANDCAMP (Essentials release of the week): “Azu Tiwaline’s most recent release on Livity Sound is, among other things, a masterclass in the use of space. All four tracks are remarkably sparse, but regardless of how stripped back they can get, a strong groove always persists”
DEKMANTEL (podcast et article) ” Saharan artist Azu Tiwaline is inspired by the desire to explore her origins in the Tunisian desert. She did this to magnificent effect on Draw Me A Silence, a debut album released earlier in 2020 that unified traditional Amazigh music with contemporary dub cultures and hypnotic techno sounds. Defined by an ever-present polyrhythmic chiaroscuro – the contrast between light and dark – it’s a mysterious album that gets you in a trance and encourages inward reflection”
Lena Willikens (Comeme): « love it, it makes you soflty move while giving you a warm tender hug.” »
Deena Abdelwahed (In Finé): “Beautiful sound craft! very earthy vibes!”
Nicola Cruz (Multi Culti): “Just listening to the whole record now, lovely work ! congrats :)”
Laurent Garnier (F com): “Another interesting release on I.O.T”