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Saafi Brothers

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Saafi Brothers is a German "fusion electronica" trance/ambient/downtempo/liquid dub project formed circa 1996 by Gabriel Le Mar with Frankfurt-based producers Michael Kohlbecker and Petro Nikolaidis (Groovetitan). As a "community project," Saafi Brothers had a varying cast of collaborators over the years, including Alex Azary and Luca Anzilotti; however, Gabriel Le Mar and Michael Kohlbecker are the sole permanent members. Saafi Brothers extensively performed live throughout their career, participating in many prestigious festivals, such as Hadra Trance Festival, Ozora Festival, Sziget Festival, Roskilde Festival, and Tribal Gathering. In March 2022, Saafi Brothers released its 7th studio album, Make Pictures With The Sound.

The band's debut release, Mystic Cigarettes, came out in November 1997 on the British label Blue Room Released, with 3xLP package and several CD editions available. Established by a British designer Simon Ghahary with financial backing from Bowers & Wilkins, Blue Room Released was the first "audiophile" label that brought underground electronic music (acts like Total Eclipse, The Infinity Project, Juno Reactor or X-Dream) to the Hi-Fi forefront, challenging the monopoly of classical, opera and jazz repertoire as traditional "reference" genres. Between 1997 and '99, Saafi Brothers released three 12" EPs at BRR. In June 2000, they produced the second full-length album, Midnight's Children CD/2xLP, distributed overseas via the label's California-based Blue Room Americas division. Saafi Brothers remixed other artists, including pioneers of German hip-hop Die Fantastischen Vier, British new wave poet Anne Clark, Swedish ambient project Carbon Based Lifeforms and renowned German club music duo Jam & Spoon. The band regularly appeared on the German TV show "Space Night," which gained a cult following broadcasted at "chillout zones" at mid-90s raves.

In March 2003, Saafi Brothers returned with a third album, Liquid Beach CD/2xLP, featuring a more dance-oriented sound and released by the band's newly-created joint Secret Life Recordings/Saafi Records label, distributed by EFA and promoted under E:Motion brand. In 2007, the band's fourth album Supernatural came out, jointly released by Ayia Napa in Germany and KOCH Entertainment in USA. Saafi Brothers continued "fusion" experiments, blending multiple genres and working with the band's early member, Alex Azary, and a duo of traditional Persian musicians.

In February 2014, Saafi Brothers produced Live On The Roadblog album, recorded live at the Bunker/Frankfurt studio and initially available as a digital-only release from Danish trance label Iboga Records. The release featured vocals based on George DIN's lyrics and several guest members: Luca Anzilotti on various electronic devices, Groovetitan on modular synths, and Rikta Schaden playing dilrupa (traditional Indian bowed instrument). In May 2015, "Live on the Roadblog" was reissued on CD in the United States by Carpe Sonum Records as an inaugural release for the Carpe Sonum Novum series; the limited edition of 300 copies came in Digipak with an 8-page booklet designed by Simon Ghahary, Saafi's first label boss. The reissue included a bonus track, "Moving Crossroads," also available as a digital EP with four remixes from Gabriel's private imprint, Le Mar Production.

In 2017, Saafi Brothers got signed by a renowned UK label LSD (sister of Dragonfly Records), which presented the band's sixth full-length studio digital/CD album, The Quality Of Being One. A collection of remixes accompanied the release, with Part 1 and Part 2 available in various digital formats on the label's Bandcamp. In May 2019, Saafi Brothers and LSD released a collection of remixes from the band's debut album, Mystic Cigarettes (Special Mixes Of Classic Flavours), available digitally and on CD in a 4-panel "digisleeve." In February 2021, a limited edition 12" EP followed with four selected remixes by LSD's label boss Martin "Youth" Glover, Jam El Mar, Marcello Baccheschi (a.k.a. DM-Theory), and Swiss-based artist Ajja.

Sites:le-mar.de , Bandcamp , Soundcloud , Mixcloud , Facebook
Members:Alex Azary, Gabriel Mastichidis, Michael Kohlbecker, Petro Nikolaidis
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