Stolen Body really is an excellent name for a record label and, in the case of Ouzo Bazooka, a highly appropriate one. Songs From 1001 Nights hops around genres and nicks bits from here, there and everywhere like a rampaging magpie. It’s lively, intense stuff with a claustrophobic and sweaty vibe across the whole record.
Styling itself as “middle eastern psych rock” seems fair enough given the melting pot of ingredients jostling for attention. Coming out of Tel Aviv, there is certainly a hot sound to the project. Instruments that these ill-informed ears cannot fully identify but if you imagine being dropped into a sweltering souk somewhere south of the Bosphorus, you’ll not be far wrong. Exotic to me, presumably rather more familiar to the four-piece band. Things are perhaps perilously close to pastiche at times with the mixing of east and west but the line is kept just to the correct side
Leader of the pack is Uri Brauner Kinrot and he’s certainly been about. Travelling all around the Mediterranean to Turkey to Brooklyn, he seems to have been on a one-man mission to work out how to collate disparate and highly unlikely musical scenes. Surf guitar, a fondness for Cream, pop and garage rock are all in an afternoon’s work. It’s no surprise to see he’s worked with Balkan Beat Box in the aforementioned Brooklyn. They share that magpie tendency and musical wanderlust.
Tracks like the driving and twanging ‘Yolar’ have a sinister oomph and undertone beneath all the wavy world music goings-on. It rescues things from sounding too close to a dubious soundtrack from an even more dubious Carry On film – featuring Kenneth Williams in a rather unnatural (for him) hue. A touch unfair perhaps but that power really is needed to stop things being a bit cliched and daft and thankfully it’s the case over most of the album.
Songs From 1001 Nights sounds pretty much exactly like you’d expect given the name and the heritage. Gruff and psychedelic instrumentals with a hot and dusky edge that make you sweat on a January night. Can’t say fairer than that. Unlikely to be the outlier for a new musical front but individual and not in the least bit usual.