POSTCARDS // 2nd Ruptured Session // 26 Jan 2018

For our second “Ruptured Session” of 2018, we were thrilled to welcome in the studios of Radio Liban 96.2FM Lebanese band POSTCARDS, consisting for this particular occasion of Julia Sabra (guitar & vocals), Marwan Tohme (guitar & backing vocals), and Pascal Semerdjian (synth & backing vocals). The three musicians spoke at length about the making of their most recent release “I’ll be here in the morning” (T3 Records + Ruptured, 2018), presented some of their favorite tracks, and performed two songs from the album.


Ruptured Album Release // THE BUNNY TYLERS // Chance Meetings

The Bunny Tylers – Chance Meetings
CD & LP Release by Ruptured, January 2018

On celebrating cold tobacco and cheap aftershave, eternal sunsets and surfer suicides, Film Noir and Thomas Pynchon, and the mighty power of the drone…

The Bunny Tylers is a drone/ambient group from Beirut, Lebanon, whose core consists of guitarists Charbel Haber (Scrambled Eggs, Malayeen, Johnny Kafta’s Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra) and Fadi Tabbal (The Incompetents, Under the Carpet, Safar), often joined on stage by Pascal Semerdjian and Marwan Tohmé from folk band Postcards. Operating firmly outside of any musical trends, at the heart of Bunny Tylers is the desire to tie musical loose ends and threads derived as much from the two men’s solo records, as a very tangible teenage dream of remaking My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless”.

The duo initially came together in 2013 to compose and record incidental music for Nadim Tabet and Karine Wehbe’s video essay “Summer of 91”. They began exploring different guitar bowing techniques, set amidst a loose and free-flowing musical frame, away from rigid compositional stratagems. Preoccupied with texture rather than finite structure, guitar drones and intricate pedal-work set the ambience and mood for Haber’s lyrics of self-reflection and existential bleakness. Love stories indeed, albeit ones engrossed with the inexorable progress of the Grim Reaper.

The Bunny Tylers’ first album, “Glitches & Drones 2013-2016”, was released by Ruptured in 2016. The duo’s second album was recorded by Benoit de Villeneuve (from Team Ghost and a collaborator of M83) in Paris in the summer of 2017. The CD version of the album was released during the 2017 edition of Wickerpark Festival, while LP and digital versions will be available starting January 2018.


LISTEN

(2016 end-of-year lists) – FADI TABBAL

So, here we are again!
We asked some of our musician friends and collaborators to tell us about their 10 favorite albums of 2016.

FADI TABBAL (Bunny Tylers, The Incompetents, Under the Carpet)

Tim Hecker – Love Streams
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Kevin Morby – Singing Saw
Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial
Mitzki – Puberty 2
Survive – Rr7349
Anna Meredith – Varmints
+
David Bowie – Blackstar
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
Alex Cameron – Jumping The Shark

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SAFAR // Ruptured Session // 15 June 2015

Lebanese musicians Mayssa Jallad and Elie Abdelnour, aka folk duo SAFAR, were the guests of Ruptures for an interview and no less than four live performances of tracks taken from their first release, the “23 Kilograms” EP, as well as newer compositions. They were accompanied by Fadi Tabbal on guitar and various electronic contraptions.

Listen:
ruptures safar 15 june (part 1) + ruptures safar 15 june (part 2)


Track listing:
Safar
Feist
The Beatles
Safar LIVE
Etta James
Jamiroquai
Safar LIVE
Feist
Norah Jones & Andre 3000
Safar LIVE
Fiona Apple
Safar LIVE


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YOUMNA SABA // 3rd Ruptured Session // 15 Dec 2014

Lebanese folk singer/songwriter Youmna Saba was the guest of Ruptures, for an interview and live performance during which she played the entirety of her third and latest album, ‘Njoum’. She is accompanied by Lebanese musician & producer Fadi Tabbal on electric guitar and various sound treatments.


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The Ruptured Sessions Volume 1  

“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.

Ziad Nawfal’s eclectic music tastes and his deep knowledge of a wide array of musical genres have made him one of the best DJ’s in town for over 2 decades now, and his name has been tied to the most mythical underground places of post-war Beirut. His radio programs on Beirut’s governmental radio station, Radio Liban, are also a reference for a whole generation of young alternative music lovers. These shows, as well as numerous other professional activities related to music — from working in Beirut’s sole alternative record store, La CD-Theque, to writing reviews for all new releases of Beirut Incognito’s collection, as well as for local and foreign magazines, have led to his extensive involvement with the local music scene. He often acts as a manager, producer, or event organizer for alternative rock, experimental and electronic music artists and bands from the Lebanese scene.

Following in the footsteps of one of his mentors, the BBC’s famed radio host John Peel, Ziad Nawfal presents ‘The Ruptured Sessions, volume 1’: the first CD to be recorded live in the studios of Radio Lebanon, during his ‘Ruptures’ show. The sessions were recorded in the studios of Radio Lebanon over a period of eight months, between June 2008 and February 2009. There was initially no actual intent for the sessions to be released onto CD format, which explains the lo-fi quality of some of the final tracks. Artists came to the studio to present some of their favorite musical selections, with an emphasis on their own artistic output, and were eventually invited to grab their guitar and perform a number of songs, live on the spot.

The best tracks from these impromptu sessions were then carefully selected, mixed and mastered by Tunefork Studio’s (one of Beirut’s most prestigious recording studios, for alternative-minded musicians) master-of-ceremony Fadi Tabbal, in collaboration with Ziad Nawfal. The resulting CD features exclusive music by Nadine Khouri, Charbel Haber (the lead singer from punk-rock band Scrambled Eggs, caught in rare acoustic flight), Youmna Saba, Cristobal (aka Christophe Katrib), and The Incompetents.

(Karma Tohmé)


Review // Scrambled Eggs & Friends // Tunefork Studios

eggs-friends

[From left to right, clockwise: Haber, Elieh, Rizkallah; Tabbal; Sehnaoui; Ko; Kerbaj; Haber; Elieh; Rizkallah]

Charbel Haber, singer, guitarist and composer with Lebanese rock band Scrambled Eggs, told me a few days ago that he had been planning for these sessions for three years, and the end result was ‘a dream come true’, for him. I find absolutely no reason to disagree with the latter statement. I was indeed privy to some highly intense and magical musical, during these sessions.
The actors and circumstances: on November 8, the three remaining Scrambled Eggs (second guitarist Marc Codsi left the band after the summer of 2008, in order to concentrate on his dancefloor project Lumi) enter Tunefork Recording Studio with the firm intent of recording several hours’ worth of new music, accompanied by a host of likely-minded musical cohorts, under the cool guidance of sound engineer Fadi Tabbal. With barely any time devoted to rehearsing, and a focus on loose improvisation instead, the sessions are scheduled for four consecutive days, and intended for release early in 2009.

The first of the sessions integrated the found sounds and electronics of Lebanese-born, French-based musician Joseph Ghosn, who doubles as the reviews editor for French musical magazine Les Inrockuptibles. Joining him and the Scrambled Eggs in the studio that day was Abdallah Ko (who plays guitar and laptop with the XEFM collective). Unfortunately, being tied down by previous engagements, I could not make it to this first session, which apparently yielded some impressive results, especially from the rhythm section of Tony Elieh and Malek Rizkallah.

For the second of these sessions, free improvisers Mazen Kerbaj and Sharif Sehnaoui (on prepared trumpet and acoustic guitar, respectively) were invited to join Haber & co. Kerbaj and Sehnaoui are the founding members of Irtijal, a surprising, Lebanese-based Festival of free improvised music which takes place in Beirut every year, and invites both local and foreign musicians to showcase their skills over several days and venues. Unfettered by the change of scenery and musical idiom that these Scrambled sessions represented, Sehnaoui and Kerbaj espoused their friends’ ‘rock’ ideals quite easily. The result was a furious maelstrom of sound, as the Eggs built an impressive, distortion-heavy wall of sound against the repeated, concentrated strumming of Sehnaoui, and the free-form eruptions of Kerbaj. In addition to his effects-laden trumpet, the latter also relied on a miked balloon to fence the repeated attacks of Haber’s pedal-relayed guitar, Elieh’s effects-laced bass, and Rizkallah’s discreet drumming. I gazed and listened in amazement as the music built and rose towards ever more violent crescendos, displaying little tolerance for compromise or reflection. These were 5 musicians at their very best, opposing and finding common ground for distant musical equations.

The November 9 session added French saxophone player Stéphane Rives to the above. Rives hails from the same improv background as Kerbaj and Sehnaoui, who found in the process an impromptu ally. The balance tilted in their favor this time, as the slow, meandering tracks tended towards reflective and calmer passages. Rives also displayed a somewhat different sensibility from that of his Lebanese fellows, edging the musical proceedings in favor of melody-oriented streams of sound, at least in the initial half. The final gasps of this session saw the musicians revert to more disrupted and disjointed playing, with a final, maddening rush of freeform blowing, stroking and banging. Little wonder that the studio’s recording computer eventually succumbed and went into crash mode!…

For the final installment of the sessions, the musicians invited by Scrambled Eggs were Fadi Tabbal on guitar (the owner and chief engineer of Tunefork Studios, and founder of psych-rock group The Incompetents) and Abdallah Ko. I found this session quite stimulating, especially due to the contribution of these two musicians. Sitting on opposite sides of the room, Tabbal on a tiny, constricting chair and Ko on the rug-covered floor, they provided some fine guitar lines and treatments to the ever-escalating wall of sound induced by Haber, Elieh and co. The ubiquitous Sehnaoui blended wonderfully amidst this compact, densely generated upsurge.

The material recorded during these sessions exceeds by far the length of an ‘official’ release, of course. The most appealing and accessible moments will be selected in order to constitute the CD release; and as such, I felt supremely fortunate and privileged to be a witness to these fine moments of improvisation.

[Photos by Ziad Nawfal]