In the 1970s, Middle Eastern psychedelic pop emerged out of the lower depths of Beirut, Tehran, Istanbul... Guitars and fuzz pedals encountered the oud, Made-in-USA Ludwig drum kits shredded along to the darbuka. Hookah aromas mixed with booze and cigarette smoke. The local music scenes merged Eastern and Western influences, giving birth to a unique Oriental garage rock sound.
Intent on paying tribute to that era, French producer Thomas Bellier launched AL-QASAR in Los Angeles in 2018 by fusing an old school psychedelic garage sound - reminiscent of Ty Segall, King Gizzard or The Black Angels as much as of 1970s hard rock - with traditional instruments of the Arab world. The lyrics in literary Arabic speak of power, chaos, addiction, but also of liberty, dreams and passion. AL-QASAR's first gig abroad - in front of 6,000 people in the heart of Islamic Cairo - was a hard rock symbiosis with the Egyptian youth, who were deeply touched by the band's Arabic psych pop gems.