Tom Calvert And Abdullah Al-wali’s ‘Zanbor’ Is A Journey Through Iraqi History

The producer formerly known as Redinho...

Redinho is going through something of a transformation.

Fresh from his outstanding work as a member of Swet Shop Boys, the producer is now opting to release material under the name Tom Calvert.

New beat tape 'Zanbor' acts as a mission statement, a blistering series of system-centric cuts that fuse club tropes with a highly personal approach.

Out now, the tape is accompanied by a video for each track, building up into a remarkably personal insight into Middle East life.

Abdullah Al-wali pieced the video together, and he's given a few words to Clash to add further context…

'Zanbor' struck a chord with me. The beats were hard and there was a sensitive, melodic touch that made the listen a visceral experience. Tom explained the influences behind the music; Iraqi percussion and instruments, eastern motifs and raw distortion that started to make my brain itch about visuals.

I was born in Baghdad but lucky enough to grow up in England so I wanted to create a film comprising of archive footage juxtaposing the rich mix of Iraqi culture with war. Sadly, military footage in a barren city or the desert was the only interaction most of my friends ever had with the country – rarely would you see the humour in dance and impromptu street parties, the majestic musicians and pop singers on TV or the western influence on style and fashion.

The film begins with the Iraq you’re used to seeing on the news but introduces archive Iraqi Television, VHS and mobile phone footage uploaded to YouTube from the 1950’s up until present day. It's a voyeuristic journey across Baghdad landscape pre-war, post-war to give insight to the humanity and culture engraved in Iraqi society.

Alongside collaborating with Tom, I'm pleased that Susannah George, a photographer working for AP based in Baghdad allowed us to use some of her work in the film too.

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