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Eclectic Prog • Israel

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Maqama biography
MAQAMA is a band that belongs to the new wave of Israeli progressive music, reuniting a typical rock quartet of educated, gifted, creative and passionate artists. The project was initiated in 2006 by bassist Ido Lewit and his sister, pianist/keyboardist and singer Noa. They were joined afterwards by drummer David Baruch and guitarist Udi Glaser. Noa Lewit is the main composer of the band, as far as both the lyrics and songs are concerned, assisted sometimes by Ido. He and David Baruch are also credited as vocalists.

Ido Lewit has studies in classical and jazz music, as well as in other arts such as cinematography, composing solo vocal-instrumental music. Another member with musical education is Udi Glaser, split between teaching music and playing in different projects (not just MAQAMA, but also in the bands called Before Time and Ethnamorte, or solo).

MAQAMA composed and recorded music during 2007 and 2008, releasing their self-titled debut album in August 2008. They're an unsigned band, but the private pressing of "Maqama" is available at a couple of record stores. The few critics so far regard it as pretty original, moreover interesting, and of a vintage quality production, the music being concise and animated at the same time. The instrumental songs are of main interest, whilst the compositions with vocals usually express a softer side of the music.

There's no high degree of complexity, nevertheless a lot of influences can be noticed. Given that almost every piece sounds like a different kind of music, the taste for a wide range of musical elements and flavours, lightly-interpreted, is MAQAMA's top feature. The blend expands from progressive rock and a sort of fusion to tinyier bits of rock, folk-classical or Hebrew music. There's also a crossover between a classic (70s) sound and a new rhythm of music.

What this band has to offer till now may not be unique, still it's borderline attractive and freshly crafted.

::: Victor "Philip" Parau :::

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