Since in 1997 Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the king of the qawwali exchanged the temporary for the eternal in 1997, the Islamic Sufi music tradition slowly but surely disappeared from the world stage. Fanna-Fi-Allah, an American band around Nova Scotia-born harmonium player and vocalist Tahir Hussain Faridi (formerly Geoffrey Lyons) has been trying to change this for some time now, and with 'Muraqaba' ("Sufi meditation") for the first time releases an album that's also distributed in Europe. Fanna-Fi-Allah (the spiritual state in which one forgets oneself in honor of Allah) has a strong fan in Coldplay front man Chris Martin who produced 'Muraqaba' in his Malibu studio. Tahir Hussain Faridi studied with some of the greatest qawwali masters in Pakistan, including Nusrat's nephew, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The band may look like a bunch of white neo-hippies that aren't even all Muslim; it's still their mission to pass on the qawwali tradition to western audiences in its purest form. The fact the band was invited to play at sacred shrines like Data Ganj Baksh in Lahore, Baba Ganj-e-Shakar in Pak Pattan or Baba Lasuri Shah in Faisalabad, even managing to break a big taboo in the fact band member and tabla player Aminah Chisti is a woman, shows that they succeeded in doing so. 'Muraqaba' counts five tracks including revisions of qawwali classics by grandmaster Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (opener 'Shahe Mardane Ali', 'Ya Farid Ganje Shakar') and Sabri Brothers ('Chashme Rehmat'). Great to hear this genre revived in all its glory!