Rebirth and reflection – Jasmin Albash drops her previous alias and releases with «Gold» an extremely personal album, inevitably attached to her personal biography. The release date is September 18. She here confronts her roots and family history in Palestine and uses it as a driving force and inspiration for a self- confident, musically bold album.
Jasmin Albash is a busy musician, active in various projects and has lately been seen, amongst other things, under the alias The RK, in the collaborative project «Kallemi كلّمي», on her own video channel where she hosts the Sijada Sessions and as a vocal coach. Spread between Basel and Berlin where she’s built a strong network, she now releases her first work of art under her own name – and for a good reason. «Gold» is too personal, too close to her own biography but also musically mature enough to stay hidden behind an artistic concept.
The impulse for «Gold» was long neglected but always present in Albash’s mind and her engagement with her personal roots – the questions about where we’re from always defining where we’re going and what we do. Daughter of a Palestinian refugee who grew up in Jordan and a Swiss mother, she grew up on Lake Constance and, in a typical Swiss village setting, found it hard to establish a relationship with her father’s Arab culture. Only recently did Albash decide to deal with her origins and to open herself, geographically and culturally, to Palestine. She eventually jumped the fence when she received an invitation from Basel’s venue Kaserne to take part in a Basel-Ramallah exchange project that finally allowed her to directly experience Palestine and its rich, distant culture: a country of absolute contrasts where Albash, aside of great suffering, injustice and despair, found strength, beauty, power and inspiration. Further trips followed on which Albash could make enriching acquaintances and establish new relationships with a home that was believed to be lost.
How do such an experience and examination of one’s own origin and biography transcribe into a creative work? «Gold», a collection of eight tracks, is a very personal thematic examination of this adventure and new perspective. The album title symbolizes a new love for a new home – valuable, enriching, healing. Whether specifically (for example on “I raise my voice for you” in memory of her grandparents who were never allowed to return home) or abstractly (such as on “Unit” which deals with inner struggle and reconciliation) – Jasmin Albash created an album that reveals and explores existential emotional human worlds with sensitive, intimate songwriting. Never black and white, «Gold» is intertwined with emotional parallels; melancholy and joy, hope and sadness, togetherness and loneliness.
Albash’s vocals always build the stylistic foundation and can be used as a lead voice as well as a harmonic instrument. Through careful production, the voice is looped, multiplied, sampled and mixed with effects to form a multi-layered track element that brings the subconscious and emotional state to the surface. Albash remains true to the electronic approach she already followed with The RK but drastically refines the technical and stylistic aspects of it. Written and pre-produced in an intimate setting, Albash worked with producers such as Aaron Ahrends and Joschka Bender from Neubau Musik in Berlin as well as Joachim Piehl. A fruitful collaboration that seizes the subtle nuances as well as the big gestures into fascinating songs and does justice to the thematic variety. From the ballad- like “I Raise My Voice For You” to the beat-driven “Moving On” – “Gold” is a self-reflective work bursting with inspiration and new perspectives.