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pie are squared – con calma [whitelabrecs]

Pie Are Squared is Italy-based Egyptian musician Mohammed Ashraf. He has previously released music through labels such as Handstitched*, Lost Children and on Eilean Records as Śruti, his collaboration with Omar El Abd. Some of you may also recall this year’s ‘muri’, which was the 13th addition to our Home Diaries Series.

‘Con Calma’ is a serene album for quiet contemplation, as minimalist tones glide and encourage a sense of detachment. It began as Mohammed gathered recordings on his mobile phone whilst travelling, which were later fed through various chains of effects. Guitars and a range of utilities were used to craft these lulling tones, with the wealth of source and detail somehow liquefying into a collection of daydreams. 

These reveries were assembled from lengthy loop sessions, which Mohammed listened to for almost a year to help him detach from the mundane office routine. He wanted this work to be a form of escapism, yet free from anxiety; a slow, calm exit. 

Con Calma is not completely weightless and feather-lite; at times the light abrasion of distortion joins the wash, to add texture. The album is best enjoyed with the tracks played in sequence, as they envelope you into a sense of contemplation, starting from humble, quiet beginnings, journeying through air and rail in ‘Flügezüge’, onto more than a hint of stormy seas towards the second half, before closing with the daze of its final moments in ‘Away, World, Away’.

released July 25, 2020Written and produced by Mohammed Ashraf
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
Photography by Mohammed Ashraf
Packaging design by Harry Towell

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