In his newest album, Alman Nusrat presents his audience with a unique musical project, one that successfully and eloquently marries an ancient past with a vibrant present moment, opening towards the endless ocean of an imminent future.
On the one hand, this past is the Islamic tradition, with its vibrating odes commemorating and immortalizing a Muslim’s love for the Prophet Muhammad (S). On the other hand, this past is a subtle homage to a soundscape from a millennial childhood. Listening to the tonally rich tracks in this album, one cannot help but feel transported to a timeless meeting between musical forms across generations, all coming together to humbly celebrate a sacred tradition.
It is this stunning use of hymns and auditory hues that allows Nusrat’s artistry to stand as a musical journey unlike any other in this genre. The way this musician is able to transform a traditional ode like “Salam Alayka” into an auditory maze and dance between echo and rhyme is truly a wondrous creative experience. Simply, this is a flawless clothing of an elderly eastern tradition in a youthful western dress.
In “Deep Blue Sea”, the artist tells us:
I see these four walls
And they talk to me,
They speak of my faith and its scarcity.
Then, in “Home”, he serenades us with:
Tryna’ find a remedy
Lost inside a melody
Can I find this light of mine?
Contemplating these lines as they vibrate between the artist’s voice and beats, I cannot help but find here a fitting homage to the mystical language of music and its four dimensions (tone, rhythm, tempo and emotion). Deep in the heart of this world beyond form, our artist lingers, trying to find a remedy of light within his melodies.
It is here that we feel we can give a fitting conclusion to this review of With Light. What Nusrat accomplishes in this brilliant work is the ability to speak and convey meaning at the very highest level of music, not through words or grammar, but through worlds of sounds and a subtle glamour. Ultimately, this is – and should be – the objective of every artist and art form: to speak in the language of muses and spirits.