Four months following the release of El Rass & Munma‘s first collaboration “Kachf el Mahjoub / Unveiling the Hidden”, on the Ruptured music label, here are some of the reviews that were written about this excellent and unique album
A couple of days prior to the release of their first recorded collaboration, “Kachf el Mahjoub / Unveiling the Hidden”, Lebanese artists EL RASS (Mazen el Sayed, words & vocals), and MUNMA (Jawad Nawfal, beats & electronic treatments), were the guest of Ruptures, for a presentation of the album and no less than three live performances. They were accompanied by Belgian electronic musician C-Drik, who spoke about the process of mastering the album.
El Rass & Munma: Borkan Beirut
El Rass & Munma: Treasury Bonds
El Rass & Munma: Tkhayal
El Rass & Munma: LIVE 1
El Rass & Munma: LIVE 2
Boom Bip & Dose One
El Rass & Munma: LIVE 3
[Photos by Tanya Traboulsi]
The CD Launch & Live Premiere of
KACHF EL MAHJOUB [UNVEILING THE HIDDEN]
A musical collaboration between
EL RASS (Mazen el Sayed, words & vocals)
& MUNMA (Jawad Nawfal, beats & electronics)
ABOUT THE CD
“Kachf el Mahjoub / Unveiling the hidden” is a musical collaboration between Lebanese poet and musician Mazen el Sayed, otherwise known as El Rass (The Head), and Lebanese electronica artist Jawad Nawfal aka Munma. El Sayed is a prolific writer and musician, at ease with a variety of instruments, while Nawfal has previously released an impressive number of albums and EPs, exploring downtempo electronica and ambient dubstep. The collision of harsh beats and brazen, slammed vocals works wonders on Unveiling the Hidden, a truly outstanding collaboration between Nawfal’s Munma project and Mazen el Sayed’s El Rass persona, produced and released by independent Lebanese label Ruptured.
Notorious for his masterful flow in the classical Arabic language, quite an uncommon phenomenon in Lebanon’s exuberant rap scene, El Rass is impressive on Unveiling the Hidden, with lyrics tackling both social and political sensitive subjects. Munma, on the other hand, creates a sound-world perfectly fitting El Rass’s agitated discourse, alternating between broken beats, elaborate percussion, and ambient layers of synths. At times reminiscent of mutant hiphop outfit Shabazz Palaces, at others of the collaboration between dubstep producer Kode9 and vocalist The SpaceApe, this album is an uncanny meeting of Arabic hip-hop and electronica, and represents an exceptional event in the realm of contemporary Lebanese alternative music.
Belgian electronic musician C-DRIK, live at EM Chill [Mar Mikhael, Beirut]
accompanied by several talented Lebanese electronicians
CEDRIK FERMONT (aka C-drík Fermont, C-drík, Cdrk, Kirdec, Y-drík, M-drík, F-drík and many other “-drík”) is a multifaceted vegan artist, academically trained musician, DJ, singer, composer and drummer.
Of Greek, Zairian and Belgian descent, born in Zaire (RDC), he lived in Belgium, where he studied under the guidance of electro-acoustic composer Annette Van de Gorne, before relocating to the Netherlands, then to Germany in 2010. C-drík started his first electronic project in 1989, and juggles between different musical genres, including electronica, noise, breakcore, digital punk, electro-acoustic, industrial, ambient, free jazz, hip hop, etc. He is also a label manager and promoter, producing his own projects and those of similarly-minded experimental artists, mostly from Asia and Africa.
I asked some of my favorite musicians from Beirut and beyond, to tell me what their favorite records of 2011 were…
Jawad Nawfal: producer, sound artist, musician (Munma, formerly with Index/Left, AEX, Ae_Quo…)
– Amon Tobin: ISAM (Ninja Tune)
– Culprate:Colours (Gradient Audio)
– Kuedo: Videowave EP (Planet Mu)
– Vessel: Wax Dance EP (A Future Without)
– 2562: Fever (Doubt Records)
– Zomby: Nothing (4AD)
– Loops Haunt: Ark EP (Black Acre)
– iTAL tEK: Whip It Up EP (Atom River)
– Semiomine: From Memory (Ad Noiseam)
– The Third Eye Foundation: The Dark (Ici D’ailleurs)
Lebanese dubstep duo INDEX/LEFT (Ziad Moukarzel & Jawad Nawfal) were the guests of RUPTURES to present a selection of new tracks recorded exclusively for their BASEMENT concert of July 16. And by the same token, the two hyperactive boys offered Ruptures’ audience an overview of the Dubstep genre, from its early beginnings to the present day.
King Midas Sound
Modeselektor (feat. Thom Yorke)
Bloc Party (Burial remix)
[Photos by Caroline Tabet]
One of the first and foremost Lebanese artists operating in the field of electronica today, JAWAD NAWFAL has held live appearances in Lebanon and France, and regularly collaborated with Lebanese electronic musicians (including TRASH INC and dubstep project INDEX/LEFT). He has released 3 albums of ambient electronic music between 2006 and 2008 on Lebanese label Incognito, under the name Munma.
He was the guest of RUPTURES to present his 4th album “Previews & Premises”, a collection of tracks recorded by Nawfal between 2006 and 2010. Not exactly a compilation, not exactly a concept album either, this new release was accompanied by a live concert at The Basement, on May 14, which marked Munma’s first “solo” appearance on a Lebanese stage since 2007.
Jawad Nawfal & Jad Atoui
[Photos by Tanya Traboulsi]