Songs from April Blossoms (KKV, 2021) is a 4-track EP featuring electronic remixes of traditional Palestinian lullabies and children songs originally performed and released on cassette by the iconic Palestinian singer Rim Banna in 1995 (New Moon / Qamar Abu Lila). The songs were later rearranged and released on CD in 2009 (April Blossoms, KKV).

On this new EP, Checkpoint 303 take the songs to a radically different universe embedding Rim Banna’s eternal voice into electronic soundscapes that vary from minimal eerie electronica to elaborate upbeat dance pieces. Rim Banna, who passed away in 2018 after a long fight with cancer, used her exceptionally beautiful voice and unique talent to celebrate life, resist oppression and raise awareness against the illegal occupation of Palestine. Through her renditions of classic lullabies, nursery rhymes and popular children’s songs, Rim’s soothing voice cheered up the kids, but also brought hope and smiles to many generations of Palestinians. In spring 2021, 67 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli forces during the bombardment of Gaza. This new release of Rim Banna’s songs is dedicated to their memory and to that of all the children in the world who have been victims of war and violence in all its forms.

Songs from April Blossoms is the latest in a series of collaborations and remixes that have appeared on the Norwegian label KKV, and in which the Checkpoint 303 crew have put Rim Banna’s voice on center stage. In 2018, Checkpoint 303 co-produced Rim’s last album Voice of Resistance (KKV, 2018) in which Rim’s medical scans were converted to sonic soundscapes that were overlaid with her poetry and beautiful melodies by the outstanding Norwegian jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft. In 2019, KKV released an album entitled R.I.M.I.X, which contains seven songs  by Rim Banna remixed by Ministry of Dub-Key, Nour, Nasser Halahlih and Checkpoint 303.

Credits

Rim Banna – Vocals

Checkpoint 303 – composition & programming

Gjermund Silseth – bass (tracks 3 & 4)

Rune Arnesen – percussion (track 2)

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