SCRAMBLED EGGS // 1st Ruptured Session + RADWAN GHAZI MOUMNEH // Interview // 21 Dec 2009

RADWAN GHAZI MOUMNEH, musicien (Jerusalem In My Heart), ingénieur du son, producteur (Clues, Land of Kush), fondateur du studio montréalais Hotel2Tango en 2005 (le studio qui a accueilli entre autres les Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt Zion, le regretté Vic Chesnutt, etc.) Radwan est accompagné de Pierre-Guy Blanchard, l’un de ses compères au sein du groupe Jerusalem In My Heart. Fadi Tabbal du groupe The Incompetents fait aussi une courte apparition dans cette émission, qui se termine par un mini-concert (électrique!) du groupe de punk-rock libanais SCRAMBLED EGGS (Charbel Haber – guitare; Tony Elieh – basse; Malek Rizkallah – batterie), en guise de promotion de leur concert au Basement le 27 Décembre. Belle façon de clôturer cette année 2009!

Ecouter:
Radwan SE part 1 + Radwan SE part 2


Track listing:
Feu Thérese
Pacha
De La Caucase
Clues
Scrambled Eggs LIVE *X to B
Scrambled Eggs LIVE *Building a nest
The Incompetents
Scrambled Eggs LIVE *Murder


[Photos de Tanya Traboulsi]

BAO // Ruptured Session // 30 March 2009

Le trio de musique improvisée BAO — Sharif Sehnaoui et Mazen Kerbaj (fondateurs du label Al Maslakh et du Festival de Musique Improvisée Irtijal) et Charbel Haber (leader du groupe de punk rock Scrambled Eggs) en interview et en concert dans les studios de Radio Liban 96.2FM.

Ecouter:
BAO 1 + BAO 2


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review // Scrambled Eggs // Dedicated to Foes Celebrating Friends

[January 2009]

SCRAMBLED EGGS: Dedicated To Foes Celebrating Friends (Incognito, 2009)

Hot on the heels of the haunted soundtrack they’ve created for the Joreige/Hadjithomas film ‘Je Veux Voir’, Lebanese punk icons Scrambled Eggs end their busy year with this “modest” 2-song release, which does however hold a host of surprises.

The year 2008 saw the Eggs part ways with their guitarist, Marc Codsi, an active contributor to the band’s sound since 2001. Codsi’s tumultuous departure, in addition to the wealth of experience gathered from working with various musicians throughout the year, infiltrate the tracks featured here, and lend them a primal, DIY quality. The sophistication of the ‘Je Veux Voir’ soundtrack is eschewed in favor of a raw, abrasive sound, harking back to the punk aesthetic of the ‘Happy Together Filthy Forever’ EP, released in 2006.

The single was recorded with little budget, in lo-fi conditions that seep through the music and lyrics. The band, reduced to the core trio of Haber on guitar and vocals, Elieh on bass, and Rizkallah on drums, displays a frantic desire to land back on its feet after a period of artistic self-doubt, and succeeds in doing so admirably. Of the six or seven songs that the Eggs wrote and tested on the road in September 2008, 2 were selected for this single release, and a third, a furious cover of Abba’s ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’, is hidden at the far end of the CD. Also hidden away at the far reaches of this release are a selection of musical snippets and oddities, selected by band-leader Charbel Haber with able help from Tunefork Studio’s maestro Fadi Tabbal.

This basic, back-to-the-roots package is a masterful way to end a difficult year, and an able return to form from one of the most revered band on Beirut’s alternative music scene.

Ziad Nawfal


CHARBEL HABER // Ruptured Session // 17 Nov 2008

CHARBEL HABER, du groupe de Rock Libanais SCRAMBLED EGGS, était l’invité de RUPTURES ‘ZOOM SUR’, le Lundi 17 Novembre, a 20h sur les ondes de RADIO LIBAN. Accompagné uniquement de sa guitare (électrique), il tente le périlleux exercice du live… L’occasion de découvrir un talent gigantesque, qui prend toute son ampleur dans ces conditions de studio “minimales”.

Ecouter:
charbel-haber-17-nov-08-part-1 + charbel-haber-17-nov-08-part-2


Track listing:
Scrambled Eggs
Smashing Pumpkins
Nirvana
Sonic Youth
Charbel Haber LIVE
Stone Roses
Faith No More
Charbel Haber LIVE
Portishead
Charbel Haber LIVE *2
Pulp


[Photo de Tony Elieh]

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(2008 end-of-year lists) – SCRAMBLED EGGS

I asked the main actors of this here blog (mostly musicians, of course, but also friends, family, support-givers…) to provide me with a list (5 to 20 albums) of their favorite records of the year.

The results are slowly coming in. There are surprises, resemblances, similarities, incongruous choices… I’ve left the responses intact, exactly as I received them, along with my friends’ comments. So here goes:

Charbel Haber, Tony Elieh, Malek Rizkallah: musicians (Scrambled Eggs)

“Ten 2008 releases that can help keep Beirut weird”

CSS: Donkey
MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
Liars: Liars
Deerhunter: Microcastle
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Raveonettes: lust lust lust
Sonic Youth: Master-Dik
The Incompetents: More Songs From The Victorious City
Silver Mt. Zion: 13 blues for thirteen moons
Christine Sehnaoui/Michel Waisviz: Shortwave

Review // Scrambled Eggs & Friends // Tunefork Studios

eggs-friends

[From left to right, clockwise: Haber, Elieh, Rizkallah; Tabbal; Sehnaoui; Ko; Kerbaj; Haber; Elieh; Rizkallah]

Charbel Haber, singer, guitarist and composer with Lebanese rock band Scrambled Eggs, told me a few days ago that he had been planning for these sessions for three years, and the end result was ‘a dream come true’, for him. I find absolutely no reason to disagree with the latter statement. I was indeed privy to some highly intense and magical musical, during these sessions.
The actors and circumstances: on November 8, the three remaining Scrambled Eggs (second guitarist Marc Codsi left the band after the summer of 2008, in order to concentrate on his dancefloor project Lumi) enter Tunefork Recording Studio with the firm intent of recording several hours’ worth of new music, accompanied by a host of likely-minded musical cohorts, under the cool guidance of sound engineer Fadi Tabbal. With barely any time devoted to rehearsing, and a focus on loose improvisation instead, the sessions are scheduled for four consecutive days, and intended for release early in 2009.

The first of the sessions integrated the found sounds and electronics of Lebanese-born, French-based musician Joseph Ghosn, who doubles as the reviews editor for French musical magazine Les Inrockuptibles. Joining him and the Scrambled Eggs in the studio that day was Abdallah Ko (who plays guitar and laptop with the XEFM collective). Unfortunately, being tied down by previous engagements, I could not make it to this first session, which apparently yielded some impressive results, especially from the rhythm section of Tony Elieh and Malek Rizkallah.

For the second of these sessions, free improvisers Mazen Kerbaj and Sharif Sehnaoui (on prepared trumpet and acoustic guitar, respectively) were invited to join Haber & co. Kerbaj and Sehnaoui are the founding members of Irtijal, a surprising, Lebanese-based Festival of free improvised music which takes place in Beirut every year, and invites both local and foreign musicians to showcase their skills over several days and venues. Unfettered by the change of scenery and musical idiom that these Scrambled sessions represented, Sehnaoui and Kerbaj espoused their friends’ ‘rock’ ideals quite easily. The result was a furious maelstrom of sound, as the Eggs built an impressive, distortion-heavy wall of sound against the repeated, concentrated strumming of Sehnaoui, and the free-form eruptions of Kerbaj. In addition to his effects-laden trumpet, the latter also relied on a miked balloon to fence the repeated attacks of Haber’s pedal-relayed guitar, Elieh’s effects-laced bass, and Rizkallah’s discreet drumming. I gazed and listened in amazement as the music built and rose towards ever more violent crescendos, displaying little tolerance for compromise or reflection. These were 5 musicians at their very best, opposing and finding common ground for distant musical equations.

The November 9 session added French saxophone player Stéphane Rives to the above. Rives hails from the same improv background as Kerbaj and Sehnaoui, who found in the process an impromptu ally. The balance tilted in their favor this time, as the slow, meandering tracks tended towards reflective and calmer passages. Rives also displayed a somewhat different sensibility from that of his Lebanese fellows, edging the musical proceedings in favor of melody-oriented streams of sound, at least in the initial half. The final gasps of this session saw the musicians revert to more disrupted and disjointed playing, with a final, maddening rush of freeform blowing, stroking and banging. Little wonder that the studio’s recording computer eventually succumbed and went into crash mode!…

For the final installment of the sessions, the musicians invited by Scrambled Eggs were Fadi Tabbal on guitar (the owner and chief engineer of Tunefork Studios, and founder of psych-rock group The Incompetents) and Abdallah Ko. I found this session quite stimulating, especially due to the contribution of these two musicians. Sitting on opposite sides of the room, Tabbal on a tiny, constricting chair and Ko on the rug-covered floor, they provided some fine guitar lines and treatments to the ever-escalating wall of sound induced by Haber, Elieh and co. The ubiquitous Sehnaoui blended wonderfully amidst this compact, densely generated upsurge.

The material recorded during these sessions exceeds by far the length of an ‘official’ release, of course. The most appealing and accessible moments will be selected in order to constitute the CD release; and as such, I felt supremely fortunate and privileged to be a witness to these fine moments of improvisation.

[Photos by Ziad Nawfal]

CHARBEL HABER & TONY ELIEH // Bande à Part Session // 21 Nov 2007

Don’t Border me est né officiellement le 9 juin 2007,  à Montréal, grace aux efforts des journalistes Christelle Franca et Serge Abiaad. Le projet s’intéresse aux musiques et la création faite où les frontières géopolitiques sont trop rigides; là où la circulation des individus, des idées et d’une information honnête est aussi complexe qu’essentielle. Pour ses premiers pas, Don’t Border me a souhaité donner la parole à la musique libanaise actuelle.

Guitariste et compositeur autodidacte, Charbel Haber co-fonde le combo post-punk Scrambled Eggs à 20 ans. 9 ans plus tard, multipliant les projets et les collaborations, on le retrouve, entre autre, à la tête du label Those Kids Must Choke. Quant a Tony Elieh, s’il est aussi le bassiste et un des co-fondateurs du combo post-punk Scrambled Eggs, il est surtout photographe. Dans ce travail de création parallèle, il fusionne la réalité et la fiction, suit les sautes d’humeur de Beyrouth et met en image les tensions contradictoires qui l’habitent.

Dans le cadre du projet Bande à Part/Don’t Border me, Charbel et Tony ont soumis un soundscape (ou paysage sonore),  ainsi que quatre photographies.


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Review // Scrambled Eggs // Happy Together Filthy Forever

[December 2006]

In July 2006, as another edition of the Lebanese-Israeli war raged around them, Lebanese rockers Scrambled Eggs went into the studio to mark down on record their most abrasive and violent set yet. Gone are the moody and introspective ramblings of their 3 previous albums, as the Eggs aim straight for the jugular in this short set (5 tracks) of angry and scorching punk nuggets, which bring to mind both the recent experimentations of Sonic Youth and the rash energy of early Pil and Cure.

The album also includes a remix of the track ‘Bleeding Nun’ by Lebanese electronica artist Munma.


LISTEN:

Audio 1: Bleeding Nun

Audio 2: Johnny Anti-Christ