This album marks the first foray into musical territory by talented Lebanese photographer Joanna Andraos. The young artist has spent several years studying classical piano, and has taken this knowledge to some strange, unexpected places on this sophomore album, released on Beirut’s Incognito Records. The record dexterously assembles classical strands and influences with modern, computer-generated sound constructions. The end result is reminiscent of Brian Eno’s Ambient Music series, tempered with a Middle Eastern edge and spiked with wandering electronics. The latter come courtesy of Jawad Nawfal aka Munma, who appears on several tracks, and whose unmistakable clicks and glitches make for some highly dramatic intrusions.
Audio 1: Chorouq
Audio 2: Abyss (Aequo Remix)
Following an intense year performing live in Lebanon and abroad, Munma return to the studio in 2007 to deliver the 2nd volume of what is rumored to be a trilogy, hovering around the Lebanese-Israeli war of July 2006. The band’s familiar layers of synthesized sounds are augmented with a formidable array of processed bleeps and glitches, excerpts from radio speeches and political discourses, as well as expertly diverted samples of traditional Arabic instruments. The only live electronics band of its kind in Lebanon has managed to deliver yet another haunting masterpiece, a record that seems to defy any possible categorization and labeling, posed somewhere between ambient soundscapes, moody electronica, and weary world music.
Audio 1: Pluie D’ete
Audio 2: IRM
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.
Audio 1: Bleeding Nun
Audio 2: Johnny Anti-Christ
Although this is his first CD release on the Lebanese market, Jawad Nawfal has been active on the local dance scene for a solid number of years, under a variety of guises (AEX, Ae_quo, etc.). ’34 Days’ is a set of 6 electro-ambient tracks, featuring minimal beats, ominous vocal samples, and a rich tapestry of interlocking, layered sounds.
The album was recorded during Israel’s attacks on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, which explains to some extent the overall sombre and introspective mood of the tracks. At times, ’34 Days’ recalls the ethereal, hushed moods of Warp label artists such as Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin at his ambient best; with an oriental twist, added for good measure.
Audio 1: Yaqiin
Audio 2: Qana