An unsettling sleeve, featuring photos of terrified looks, cruel punishments and sadistic facial expressions, hides a somewhat strange album by Praed, aka Paed Conca, of Blast fame, on electric bass, clarinet and electronics and Raed Yassin, best known as a playing partner of trumpeter Mazen Kerbaj, on double bass, tapes and electronics. It’s a patchy collection, hypothetically divided into two “sides” like an LP (the whole clocks in at LP length – 45 minutes – too). The schizophrenic suite “The Man Who Lost All His Friends (With Japanese Subtitles)” consists of 34 short episodes in which effective tape work and looped splinters form the nucleus of a music without respite in its continuous development. And when the illusion of repose appears, tricky manipulations, cantankerously inharmonious figurations and percussive exploitation of the strings keep the senses ever primed for action. The remaining tracks more or less follow the same pattern, with effective use of TV and radio morsels by Yassin, who incorporates popular themes and Arabic melodies into the duo’s crusty disfigurations of veracity. The overall sound quality is pretty medium-fi, but you can consider that a plus, since Praed steer well clear of modishness and lacquer, wallowing in mud and dirt instead. The result is a sonic mumbo-jumbo that’s relatively distinctive, if not exactly pioneering.