- Stefan Christoff – Illimitée 
- Stress Distress – Liljeholmen 
- Jad Atoui & Jawad Nawfal – Six Times Two 
- Mme Chandelier – Minimal Potato 
- Ziad Moukarzel & Tony Elieh [Tres Millones Dolares] – Jon Black 
- Radiokvm – Aristophanes *213 
- Elyse Tabet & Jawad Nawfal – Coast I 
- Liliane Chlela – 2022 
- Jad Atoui – Alpha 60 
- Bakisa – Notturno (Edit #6) 
- Lumi – To the Shore 
- Rise 1969 – 3Jane Tessier-Ashpool 
- Deena Abdelwahed – Lila Fi Tounes 
- Zuli – Robotic Handshakes in 4D 
- Mutamassik – Rhythms Rattle on Death Pawns 
- Muqata’a – Al Missfah (Muqata’a Remix) 
- DJ Sotusura – Belbalad 
- Hadi Zeidan – Mabrouk Mabrouk 
- Al Rajul Al Hadidi + Chyno – Zam Zam 
- El Far3i & Munma – Shu Beddak 
- El Rass  – نفَس
Live broadcast from “Ruptures” [Radio Lebanon 96.2FM] with song-by-song audio commentary, featuring musicians from Lebanon:
1. Lumi – Two Swords 
2. The Bunny Tylers – Let There Be Light 
3. The Butcher’s Bride- Lipsync 
4. Elyse Tabet & Jawad Nawfal – Coast I 
5. General Order 1 – Exponential 
6. Hadi Zeidan – In the Goldroom 
7. Bakisa – Notturno (Edit #6)  PREMIERE
8. Kid Fourteen – Nobody Came, Nobody Wants To 
9. Liliane Chlela – 2022  PREMIERE
10. Kinematik – Sahu 
11. Postcards – Freediving 
12. Sandmoon – Fiery Observation 
13. Serge Yared – The State of The Union 
14. The Incompetents – Bloody Rainbow (Daniel Johnston cover) 
15. Sary Moussa – In Praise of Shadows 
A radio show entirely devoted to the 6th edition of the Wickerpark Festival, taking place on September 10th, 2016, in Batroun, North Lebanon. Featuring some exclusive material from the bands playing in the festival, as well as a special live performance from Loopstache!
Wanton Bishops ‘Waslaha’
Kid Fourteen ‘It’s a lovely night’
Loopstache ‘Time with you is not wasted’ – Ruptures exclusive –
Interbellum ‘Brian Wilson’
Filter Happier ‘Home’
Etyen ‘Lo siento’
Loopstache ‘All I need is you’ – LIVE –
Safar ‘It’s you’ – Ruptures exclusive –
Kid Fourteen ‘The dancer’
Lumi ‘Talk to you’ – Ruptures exclusive –
Wanton Bishops ‘Sun rising’
Safar ‘Wa namchi’
Filter Happier ‘Glow’
Lebanese promoter Anthony Semaan from Beirut Jam Sessions was the guest of Ruptures for an exclusive interview, during which he gave a detailed overview of his collective’s past concerts, as well as the numerous events they’ve got planned for the coming two months!
Son Of Dave
Who Killed Bruce Lee
We Are Match
We Were Evergreen
Time For T
To Kill A King
Take a look at Beirut Jam Sessions’ fantastic YouTube channel here
Lebanese musician Marc Codsi (Zeid & The Wings, The Incompetents, Lumi, ex-Scrambled Eggs) caught on Ruptures for an interview and improvised live performance. Among the tracks he selected, a new exclusive track from his electro-rock duo Lumi.
Marc Codsi LIVE
Zeid & The Wings
My Bloody Valentine
[Photo by Tanya Traboulsi]
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:
Marc Codsi: musician (Lumi)
“Voici donc un top 10 tout frais
J”ai rajoute un ptit commentaire sur certains, tu peux les enlever si tu preferes…”
-10-Ra Ra Riot: ‘The Rhumb Line’ (A very pleasant Album to listen to on repeat)
-9-Leila: Blood, Looms and Blooms
-8-Sigu Rus: með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
-7-Vampire Week end-Vampire Week end (Who would have thought that African inspired Rock can become Mainstream!)
6-Max Richter: ’24 postcards In Full colors’ (which is actually not an album but a collection of Ringtones!!)
-5-Goldfrapp: Seventh Tree
-4-Beck-Modern Guilt (has served good purpose)
-3-The Ting tings: We invented nothing (Indeed but it’s so good)
-2-MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Definitely the discovery of 2008! thank you Brooklyn)
-1-Portishead: Three (it’s very rare that an album like that comes out nowadays, every three to five year maybe in my opinion)
Oh, and for the latest offering from Lumi, check out the following link:
[“A glance at Beirut’s contemporary alternative musical scene” was written for & published by ELLE ORIENT MAGAZINE in 2008]
To this day, I am not entirely sure what the initial spark was. I keep going through different scenarios and different events in my head, but I’m still unsure as to what started it all. It could have been Yasmine Hamdan’s tremulous voice, when the Soapkills took their first steps on a makeshift stage in a restaurant named Babylone, on the upper confines of Monot Street. Or the vision of Jawad Nawfal and Victor Bresse laying complex rhythms on their electronic machines in Beirut’s Dome; or, closer still in time, the edgy voice of Charbel Haber as he professed eternal love and unavoidable damnation behind the wall of noise emitted by the Scrambled Eggs band…
Whichever the case, the actual beginnings of the Lebanese alternative musical scene escape me today. But this scene is so fertile, so diversified, so gloriously messy yet ultimately enchanting, that the details of its inception are irrelevant today. Much more important are its many actors, their numerous projects, and plans for a gloriously baffling future.
Yasmine Hamdan, the by-now legendary velvety voice of Soapkills, left Lebanon and her partner Zeid Hamdan’s barrage of rhythms, and exiled herself in France to work with famed electronic Mirwais (a mainstay of the French New Wave scene of the 80’s with his band Taxi Girl). The results of his collaboration with Yasmine Hamdan should be released imminently.
Zeid Hamdan, one of the most hyperactive musicians in Beirut’s alternative scene, has fronted a myriad bands in the last few years, excelling in various genres: punk/pop with the New Government (two releases on Lebanese independent label Incognito), Control/Shift Z (a dance project with Arab inflections), 3Arab (a fine blend of rock and dub), and countless others. Zeid is also hard at work scouting for new talent, and his efforts in that field have paved the way for the release of products from local Rap acts, including Katibe 5, Kita3youn, Kitaa Beirut, etc. Among these, the Katibe 5 crew stands ahead of the competition, and its debut album (also released by Incognito) is an infectious mixture of Arab rapping and hard-edged beats.
Jawad Nawfal and his Art.Core ensemble were among the first Lebanese artists to organize large-scale events gathering deejaying, live music, interactive video projections and photography. Some of these elements are still found in Jawad’s work today, as he fronts Electronica project Munma, a band that incorporates Middle and Far Eastern influences with its resolutely Westernized Electronic Ambient schemes. Munma’s first two EP’s were released on Incognito Records. Jawad’s musical cohort of choice is ex-drummer Nabil Saliba, who performs on stage with Munma as synth-driven Trash Inc.
Electronic dance music’s Lebanese ambassadors of choice would be Lumi, a duo consisting of Marc Codsi (machines) and Mayaline Hage (vocals), whose jumpy electro-rock has earned them a successful commercial release with multinational label EMI records. 2008 saw them hard at work touring their debut album “Two Tears in Water”.
Whether bouncing on and off stage with local rock heroes Scrambled Eggs, improvising with experimental outfit XEFM, or interpreting his plaintive compositions alone on stage, Charbel Haber is an iconic figure in the contemporary Lebanese music scene, and feels perfectly at ease operating in this wide range of musical settings. Scrambled Eggs have released a handful of albums and EP’s, of consistently superior musical quality. 2008 also saw the release of a solo album by Haber, as well as collaborations with XEFM and U.S.-based bass player Miles Jay.
Among recent newcomers, let me point out The Incompetents, 4 young men hard at work creating an unreasonable mixture of Syd Barrett and Beach Boys influences, and more modern British pop trends. During their rare live appearances, they succeed in creating an extravagantly joyous shambles, while the release of their debut album will undoubtedly figure as a highlight of the year 2009.
Although less prominently ‘alternative’, the musical endeavors of singers such as Rima Khcheich and Tania Saleh hold a special place in the Lebanese contemporary panorama, as they mine a rich vein of Oriental Jazz and pop sensibilities.
The ongoing adventures of Beirut’s alternative music scene would not be possible without the staunch support of a stubborn group of individuals, active so-to-speak behind the scenes: promoters and festival organizers (Libanjazz’s Karim Ghattas, The Basement’s Jad Souaid, Byblos Festival’s Naji Baz…), producers (Incognito’s Tony Sfeir, Forward Productions’ Ghazi Abdelbaki), radio hosts (hailing mostly from the government-supported Radio Lebanon), whose efforts and relentless risk-taking surely play a vital part in ensuring the survival of this ebullient, diversified scene.
A full report on those bands that consistently set ablaze this writer’s enthusiasm would necessitate an obscenely large number of words and pages. At best, one can barely scratch the surface of this musical compendium, which regenerates itself constantly, and holds endless surprises for the patient and avid listener.
[Photo of Malek Rizkallah, drummer with Scrambled Eggs, by Ziad Nawfal]
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.
Pour clôturer en beauté la première édition du projet Don’t Border me/Bande à Part, Jade (DJ résident et propriétaire du club The Basement à Beyrouth) livre un «DJ set» impressionant de maîtrise, et majoritairement dédié à la scène électronique locale.
1. SHANT: Kids
2. ROMAX: Not Meant To Be
3. AISHA: Get Togetha
4. FADY FERRAYE: Hashtray
5. MUNMA: City Traffic
6. ROMAX: Rosha
7. SHANT: Wandering
8. AISHA: Twist
9. MUNMA: Polymorph 2 + 3
10. SOAPKILLS: Tango