German-Syrian live act Shkoon has received the tick of approval from Arab star Ragheb Alama following a new re-imagining of his 1986 classic, Ya Rayt, which was released on the 11th of March via MDLBEAST Records’ new imprint WTR – a home for organic arabesque electronic music.
Building bridges between Middle Eastern tradition and modern club culture, Shkoon has served to unify numerous demographics through their richly eclectic productions and ethereal track selections, with the latest remix highlighting a new and progressive path for the region’s vibrant music community.
The new re-work delivers a refreshing sonic perspective that champions a host of musical sources while breathing new life into Ragheb Alama’s original smash hit. Known for an extensive sound palette that cuts through the boundaries of culture, the pair respect the rich history of music and the importance of these earlier influences within the continued evolution of electronic music.
A bone fide symbol of Arabic Pop royalty, Lebanese-born Ragheb Alama is one of the most successful artists in the Arab World. His numerous hits remain a staple sound and a ‘part of life’ for Middle Eastern audiences, boasting upwards of 470 million views on YouTube alone.
Speaking about the project, Alama commented:
“Ya Rayt was my first hit single back in 1986 so naturally I hold it close to my heart. My son Khaled and nephew Jad are big fans of Shkoon so I was happy for them to rework the track with their modern touch”
Following in a similar vein to some of their previous opuses, the Ya Rayt remix is a slice of underground bliss, with interpretations of stripped-back electronica and dark, deep house. Against Ragheb’s original vocal offering, Shkoon injects more contemporary vocal chops, signifying the distinct symbiosis between old and new. Despite a stark difference in the era between the original and its fresh counterpart, Shkoon’s remix celebrates both authenticity and cultural diversity.
Speaking about the release, Shkoon commented:
“It was always part of our vision to build bridges between traditional Middle Eastern music and modern electronica. Ragheb has been a hugely important artist in the Arabic Pop world for over forty years so when we were approached to remix Ya Rayt it seemed like a natural fit.
The opportunity to fuse club culture with more conventional sounds is incredibly exciting for us, as it facilitates a cultural dialogue between generations.”
Originally from Syria but residing in Germany as a refugee, Ameen met German native Thorben in Hamburg in 2015, where they started producing together under their Shkoon project. It didn’t take long for them to gather a huge international audience and cement their reputation as scene tastemakers. In December 2019, they released their long-awaited debut album, Rima, followed by a worldwide album tour, where they performed sold-out shows across Beirut, London, Paris, Berlin, and Hamburg.
Sadly, Ameen’s refugee status thwarted booking opportunities across many countries, yet another reason for the duo’s passion and dedication to connecting with music audiences the world over. Using their music as a message for cultural diversity, the pair takes huge inspiration from their respective backgrounds, gravitating to Syrian folklore when devising their lyrics in Arabic and opting for western-rooted electronic music for the format.
Ragheb Alama – Ya Rayt (Shkoon Remix) will be released on Friday, February 25 via MDLBEAST Records’ new subsidiary brand WTR.
MDLBEAST LLC was established following the success of its flagship festival MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM. It is a music entertainment company that aims to showcase established as well as up-and-coming talent, present audiences with original content, and deliver live entertainment.
The company further expanded across