First Listen: Fatima Al Qadiri "Desert Strike" EP

Fatima Al Qadiri made a very personal EP, one she said she wanted to make for a long time. Al Qadiri grew up in Kuwait during the second Gulf War and tried to encapsulate the clash of war and innocence on this release, and the way she worked on the trauma way back as child. A trauma is something so horrible that you store it away in the dark corners of your mind, but at the same time you are doomed to return to it and repeat it endlessly. Al Qadiri repeated the Gulf War as a child in the way of a video game, and so the name of the EP “Desert Strike” is taken from the multi platform game Desert Strike – Return to the Gulf from 1992.

The EP turns out to be haunting and beautiful. It is a mixture of dark beats and gunshot samples, ethereal voices and retro video game sounds, adding up to what is called “Grime” in the UK. As Al Qadiri told Fader, she had composed a simple melody as a kid that she listened to over and over, and this EP somehow feels the same. It is standing still over the course of its five tracks, using the same sound palette and range on all of them. But in the end, this is the way the EP is supposed to be, as it  is a lecture on trauma and how we deal with it, mixing the real thing with the fictional reenactment and turning it around once more to perhaps gain access to what is hidden to representation, be it visual or audible. The EP is out on Fade to Mind now.


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