(2012 end-of-year lists) – CHARBEL HABER

I asked some of my favorite musician and artist friends, from Beirut and beyond, to list their 10 favorite albums of 2012…
Alternately, they could also provide me with a list of the records they listened to the most in 2012, regardless of date of release.

Charbel Haber (musician, Scrambled Eggs / Johnny Kafta’s Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra)
https://soundcloud.com/charbel-haber

– Earth: Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II
– Eric Chenaux & Radwan Ghazi Moumneh: Sentimental Moves LP
– Rhodri Davies: Wound Response LP
– A-Trio: Music To Our Ears
– Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke & Oren Ambarchi: Imikuzushi
– Swans: The Seer
– Scott Walker: Bish Bosch
– Hot Chip: In Our Heads
– Grimes: Visions
– Fushitsusha: Mabushii Itazura Na Inori

(2012 end-of-year lists) – FADI TABBAL

I asked some of my favorite musician and artist friends, from Beirut and beyond, to list their 10 favorite albums of 2012…
Alternately, they could also provide me with a list of the records they listened to the most in 2012, regardless of date of release.

Fadi Tabbal (producer, sound engineer & musician, The Incompetents / Under The Carpet / Youmna Saba)
http://www.tuneforkstudios.com/

– Dr. John: Locked Down
– Grizzly Bear: Shields
– Julia Holter: Ekstasis
– Scott Walker: Bish Bosch
– Fiona Apple: The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
– Beach House: Bloom
– Spiritualized: Sweet Light Sweet Heart
– The XX: Coexist
– Tame Impala: Lonerism
– Swans: The Seer
– Godspeed You! Black Emperor: ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
– Eric Chenaux: Guitar & Voice

(2011 end-of-year lists) – CHARBEL HABER

I asked some of my favorite musicians from Beirut and beyond, to tell me what their favorite records of 2011 were…

Charbel Haber: musician (Scrambled Eggs, Johnny Kafta’s Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra, XEFM)

1- Tim Hecker: Ravedeath, 1972
2- Mike Cooper: Radio Paradise
3- Gil Scott Heron & Jamie xx: We’re New Here
4- M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
5- The Fall: Erstaz GB
6- Gang Gang Dance: Eye Contact
7- Wilco: The Whole Love
8- Jim O’Rourke: Old News # 5
9- Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts
10- PJ Harvey: Let England Shake

Review // Scrambled Eggs // Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu

[April 2010]

A few hours ago, I caught myself trying to remember the first time I watched Scrambled Eggs perform live, here in Beirut or elsewhere. I couldn’t. Either my memory has started to fail me, or I’ve seen Charbel & co perform so often, and under so many guises, that the performances have merged into one gigantic, noisy blur in my head. Which makes these CD releases that much more vital, and evidently indispensable.

Both of these albums were released in April 2010, during the 10th edition of Irtijal Festival. They are the product of a new label, equipped with a fabulously sleazy logo (see below), entitled ‘Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu‘. The records mark an intense bout of activity for Scrambled Eggs (a trio of Charbel Haber -guitar-, Tony Elieh -bass-, and Malek Rizkallah -drums-), beginning towards the end of 2008, and extending early into 2009. The tracks were completed in Fadi Tabbal’s Tunefork Studios.

The first of the CD’s consists of sessions recorded with the ‘A’ Trio (Mazen Kerbaj -trumpet-, Sharif Sehnaoui -guitar-, and Raed Yassin -double bass-), comprising two long tracks, epic, dissonant, and sinuous, and a third, shorter, “rockier” ditty, a tribute of sorts to early Japanese animé “Grendizer”. Interesting to hear Yassin, Kerbaj and Elieh scream Arabic insults over noisy, distorted accompaniment. And highly recommended. Also recommended is local Lebanese producer Diamond Setter‘s remix of the title track, “Beach Party at Mirna el Chalouhi”. You can listen to that one here:

http://soundcloud.com/diamond-setter/scrambled-eggs-a-trio-beach-party-at-mirna-el-chalouhi-diamond-setters-whatever-you-want-rework

The 2nd album, “Scrambled Eggs & Friends”, was recorded with various musicians hailing from Beirut’s (and Paris’) experimental scenes, namely Joe Ghosn (laptop & electronics), Abdallah Ko (guitar & electronics), Stéphane Rives (saxophone), Fadi Tabbal (guitar), as well as the aforementioned Kerbaj and Sehnaoui. Here, Scrambled Eggs indulge in newfound musical directions and tangents, far from the regular rock format, and marrying with grand ease experimentation, improvisation, and noise. I love the stuff. And the visuals too (these are by Mazen Kerbaj). Ya 3akarit.


 

SCRAMBLED EGGS // Ruptured Session #2 + TANYA TRABOULSI // Interview // 1 March 2010

Tanya Traboulsi, a regular fixture in the studios of Radio Lebanon as the official photographer of these live ‘Ruptured’ sessions, slipped behind the mike for the span of a few minutes, in order to present the book “UNTITLED TRACKS“, a book of photos (her own) and texts, edited by Ghalya Saadawi and yours truly, documenting Beirut’s alternative music scene.

As for Scrambled Eggs, they were the guests of ‘Ruptures’ that night to highlight their contribution to both the launch event for said book, and the ‘Prelude to Irtijal‘ mini-festival taking place on March 10&11.

Listen: Traboulsi & The Eggs part 1 + Traboulsi & The Eggs part 2


Track listing:
Munma
Tarek Atoui
Lumi
Omar Rodriguez
The French Kicks
Beethoven
Liars
Fly Pan Am
Tool
Nirvana
Jim O’Rourke
Christian Wolff


[Photo by Tanya Traboulsi]

Press // The Ruptured Sessions Vol. 2

The Ruptured Sessions Volume 2

A CD compilation gathering some of the most notorious protagonists of Beirut’s experimental music scene, captured live in the studios of Radio Lebanon. “The Ruptured Sessions” is a series of live recordings that take place in the studios of Radio Lebanon 96.2FM, during Ziad Nawfal’s weekly Ruptures program. These recordings focus on musicians from Lebanon’s alternative music scenes (alternative folk & rock, electronica, improvisation, etc.), as well as visiting foreign musicians.

Thomas Millroth is a Swedish writer and art critic. Nowadays he runs the Olof Bright label, alongside Swedish reeds player and improviser Mats Gustafsson. Thomas reviewed volume 2 of CD series The Ruptured Sessions for the very fabulous music blog Soundofmusic, on December 1st, 2010. Unfortunately for readers from this part of the world, Thomas’s review is in Swedish. It’s never too late for a trip to Scandinavia, is what we are thinking.