Experimental folk musician Mike Cooper was in Beirut for a few days last week, to take part in the Johnny Kafta Summer Extravaganza live event, alongside some renowned musicians from Canada and Lebanon. On a whim, I asked Mike if, instead of the traditional interview – songs – performance format, he would agree to play live for a full hour, uninterrupted… With his usual calm, he replied ‘Sure, I can do that for you’.
And there you have it: a full hour of Mike Cooper improvising live in the studios of Radio Lebanon, with whatever instruments and materials he disposed of, on that evening. Fadi Tabbal engineered the whole thing, and it was rather splendid.
Volume 4 of celebrated CD series The Ruptured Sessions brings together a selection of some of the finest performers in the world of contemporary electronica, including artists Joseph Ghosn, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, Munma and OkyDoky from Lebanon, as well as internationally celebrated musicians Tashweesh (Palestine), C-drík (Belgium), and Enduser (USA). The sessions were mastered in Germany by C-drík, in his Berlin studio.
“This week, local music mogul Ziad Nawfal, who hosts the Ruptures radio program, launched the fourth CD in a series of live session recordings. The Ruptured Sessions, Volume 4 is an experimental, electronic affair with seven different artists. “Untitled Sketch,” by Joseph Ghosn, is a gently contemplative minimalist piece. Tashweesh – an electronic multimedia project involving some former members of Palestinian hip hop crew Ramallah Underground – offers up a track of soulful hip hop […]. OkyDoky launches a synth-assault in the upbeat, electro-pop track “I am a robot.” Lebanese producer Ghazi Moumeh provides a glitchy slow-paced interlude with “Ya dam’ at al ‘ain.” C-Drik does high-pitched silence in “De vous je me détache,” a […] minimal track composed of occasional bell tolls and one long, drawn out cello note, that […] create a haunting atmosphere. Munma’s “Explorer + Soft integration” is dark brooding minimal tech. The final track from Enduser is the highlight of the album, incorporating a chaotic, bass-heavy jungle beat, samples of Tasmin Archer’s rather cheesy 90s hit “Sleeping Satellite,” and an oriental style dance-off with sweeping strings fighting against the grinding beat.”
(Natalie Shooter in NOW Lebanon, March 2012)
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
With a new album (almost) in hand, two concerts scheduled for late October and early November 2011, and another full-blown album in the works, it was high time that The Incompetents (Serge Yared and Fadi Tabbal) took over the studios of Radio Lebanon again, with their ranting, raving, on-air arguments, and of course, some pretty competent music playing!
This Gun’s for Hire
Prelude To An Abyss
Bloody Rainbow (Daniel Johnston cover)
When God’s Away On Business (Tom Waits cover)
Cannibal Blues [again, because the first one did not work out so well]
After Hours (Velvet Underground cover)
High Horse (feat. Wissam Charaf)
Palestinian trio TASHWEESH (Basel Abbas, Ruanne Abou-Rahme & boikutt) spent two weeks in Beirut in October 2011, during which they held no less than four performances (2 for Tashweesh, organized by Ruptured, and 2 for boikutt). They were the guests of Ruptures for an interview & live performance, during which they were accompanied by American-born, Lebanon-based journalist Jackson Allers.