NOON are the kind of band you might expect, or rather hope, to encounter in the UAE – an audio approximation of the emirates’ cluttered cosmopolitanism and contemporary, borderless ethos.
Made up of three players, drawn from different cultural and musical backgrounds, the instrumental trio bravely embody, and certainly enliven, the hackneyed idea of East/West musical fusions.
Up front is the sound of the oud, the most typical international marker of all things Middle Eastern. But sonically framed by electric bass and drums – and freed by the improvisatory impulses of jazz – NOON’s collective sound is distinctly global. Shades of funk groove, African and Indian percussive rhythms and electronic effects pepper this sonic stew. The effect is a little like a proggy, jazz-rock power trio, only with an oud where the electric guitar is supposed to be. They call it “experimental Oriental” – a knowingly exotic abstraction, for sure, but of the very best kind.