'Beats & Pieces', the new long-player by Brussels based gnawa and jazz brass band Marockin' Brass, is also the going-away present of Met-X founder Luc Mishalle. Mishalle is retiring, but will remain active with a number of Met-X projects, including Marockin' Brass. For this album, Marockin' Brass once again collaborated with drummer Roel Poriau (Think of One, Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra) and also brought in Belgian-Tunisian producer Sofyann Ben Youssef (Ammar808, Kel Assouf). The first part of the title of the album is a reference to Poriau's drums, which are more prominent than on previous Marockin' Brass albums, and Ben Youssef's pumping Arabic bass lines: "Poriau originally stepped in for one of our musicians who couldn't come to the recordings. We rehearsed thoroughly before the recording sessions and he immediately added value to the percussion side of things. It was also the first time we collaborated with a producer, Ben Youssef. A real eye opener, making us interpret our songs in completely different ways.". Mishalle first started working with Moroccan musicians in the 1980s: "After all these years, Moroccan music has crept into my musical DNA; it has become part of my own music. By creating hours and hours of music together, a contemporary organic Brussels sound developed. Without Moroccan-Belgian musicians like Driss Filali (guembri) the sound of Marockin' Brass would not be the same. The Brussels context is unique, in Belgium and far beyond. Our metropolis has quirky vibrations that can only be understood by immersing yourself completely.". Rather jazzy sounding tracks on 'Beats & Pieces' like 'Misschien' or 'Straks' were les to our taste, but the gnawa meets chaabi funk of opener 'Jilali Bouhalam' couldn't sound catchier, and 'Tchor Kerira' we still recognized from French band Orchestre National De Barbès who at the time performed it as 'Toura', but with the addition of the horn section and Roel Poriau's drums it's given a totally different dimension here. Mishalle perfectly summarizes the whole process: "If you bring the right people together, you can merge pure jazz, contemporary and traditional music into something very organic!"; we couldn't describe 'Beats & Pieces' better ourselves.