“To B, or not to B.” That is… not a question this year, because none of our songs were in the key of B! It was E♭— minor, specifically — that was our huge winner this year (black keys on the piano in general, really), with low showings for the keys of D and E, once again proving that nobody writes Top 40 pop songs on their guitars anymore.
From her native Tunisia via France, Abdelwahed made her name playing sets in places like The Boiler Room and Berghain. Her work fuses gritty urban dance rhythms with unconventional textures; it’s ambient, industrial, and traditional Arab music all wrapped up within an experimental techno framework. In an interview she poses a question that summarizes her artistic vision: “If the people who invented house and techno were Arab, if they had grown up with our rhythms and our instruments, what would it sound like? Would it be the drum and bass, house and techno we know today? I don’t think so.” Abdelwahed’s latest album is Khonna, released in November 2018.