Ruptured Album Release // MAYSSA JALLAD // Marjaa: The Battle Of The Hotels

Released March 3rd, 2023:
Lebanese singer/songwriter Mayssa Jallad’s first solo album. A poetic reflection on Beirut’s War of the Hotels, one of the bloodiest events of Lebanon’s Civil War..

“Marjaa: The Battle of the Hotels” is a concept album born of the idea of merging singer/songwriter Mayssa Jallad’s two vocations: music and urban research/architectural history. Written in collaboration with producer Fadi Tabbal, the music builds upon Tabbal’s spatial approach to sound and Jallad’s research on Beirut’s Hotel District.
The album is a reference to Jallad’s Historic Preservation master’s  thesis, in which she detailed the history of the “Battle of the Hotels”, a 5-months battle that took place in Beirut at the beginning of the Lebanese Civil War, from October 22nd, 1975 to March 29th, 1976.
Jallad saw architecture as a main protagonist of the battle, as she discovered it was the first high rise urban battle in the world. The close of the battle resulted in the 15-year Green Line, an urban rift which split Beirut into “East and West”, restricting movement and communication and creating a violent divide that still resonates today.
“Marjaa” comprises two parts. Part A: Dahaliz, is a stroll in the city, where Jallad tries (and fails) to follow an old map. Musician Youmna Saba is a companion in this journey of remembering the once winding corridors (“Dahaliz”) of the city, destroyed by new developments since the 1960s. Empty skyscrapers propel her onto a past filled with the violence of snipers, and a present filled with the glamorous injustice of empty luxury real estate endorsed by powerful warlords-turned-politicians.
In Part B: Maaraka, Jallad inhabits the building of the Battle of the Hotels, as its events unfold. She calls the fighting militias the Blues and Reds, respectively the Lebanese Front (Christian Nationalists) and the Lebanese National Movement (Pro-Palestinian leftists), leveling the playing field, and drawing a map of the battle through songwriting. Sary Moussa produces the conclusion of the battle in “Holiday Inn (March 21 to 29)”, which ends with the ultimate severance of the city of Beirut.
The music caters to post-war youth who have never been taught this difficult history. Once we consider the “Battle of the Hotels” as our common heritage, it provides an opportunity to teach the value of civil peace. It is also a call to protest for the renewal, rather than the recycling of the political class that has once destroyed the country and holds us, to this day, hostage of its violence.

Featuring Youmna Saba, Marwan Tohme, Pascal Semerdjian, Julia Sabra, Farah Kaddour, Sary Moussa, Yara Asmar and Fadi Tabbal.

Out on March 03, 2023.

Listen/Order here

WATCH the video for Markaz Azraq (December 6).

READ Brad Rose’s interview with Mayssa Jallad in Foxy Digitalis.

READ Christina Hazboun’s album review in Bandcamp.

READ Maha El Nabawy’s album review in SceneNoise.

Ziad Nawfal Guest Mix for Movement Radio // 06 December 2022

Ziad Nawfal’s monthly mix for Movement Radio in Athens, featuring music from Lebanon, Egypt, Belgium and Canada. This mix was commissioned and produced by Onassis Cultural Center, and presented for the first time in the frame of MOVEMENT RADIO.

  1. Jerusalem In My Heart – Ana Lisan Wahad (feat. Farida Amadou & Pierre-Guy Blanchard) [LB/CA/BE]
  2. Abadir – Bass Belly [EG]
  3. TEDTEDTED – Calculators [LB]
  4. Liliane Chlela – Charr [LB]
  5. Rise 1969 – Floating Memory [LB]
  6. Etyen – Goodbye [LB]
  7. Sary Moussa – In Praise of Shadows [LB]
  8. Yara Asmar – it’s always october on sunday [LB]
  9. Elyse Tabet with Pascal Semerdjian & Yara Asmar – Low Toms [LB]
  10. Sandy Chamoun – Nas el Wahel [LB]
  11. Pie Are Squared – Oscillate Thrice [EG]
  12. Maurice Louca – Saet el Hazz (feat. “A” Trio) [EG/LB]
  13. Julia Sabra & Fadi Tabbal – Snakeskin [LB]

Photo by Georges Daou

Ruptured Album Release // ELYSE TABET with Pascal Semerdjian and Yara Asmar // LOW TOMS BRIGHT BELLS AND DARKEST SPELLS

Arriving December 2nd, 2022:
Acclaimed Lebanese producer Elyse Tabet’s first full-length release for Ruptured, featuring rising talent Yara Asmar and seasoned sessionist Pascal Semerdjian from shoegaze trio Postcards.

ELYSE TABET is a Lebanese audiovisual artist and electronic musician. She works with recorded and synthesized sound to create electro-acoustic landscapes and deconstructed rhythmics, drawing her inspiration from musique concrète, ambient, industrial electronica, dub and garage beats. Elyse began working in the field of audiovisual interaction in the early 2000s, mainly as a videographer for live performances and DJ sets. She has collaborated on projects with electronic producer Jawad Nawfal, drummer and producer Nabil Saliba, electronic musician Yangfan Li, video artist Maureen Castera, and Lisbon-based artist and curator Violeta Lisboa. Elyse is a co-founder of the Beirut Synthesizer Center.

Low Toms Bright Bells and Darkest Spells is Elyse’s third release, following Newfound Grids on Berlin-based Syrphe in 2013 and Coast on Beirut-based label VV-VA in 2020, the latter a duo with Lebanese musician Jawad Nawfal.

Music composed by Elyse Tabet with Yara Asmar and Pascal Semerdjian. Recorded in December 2021 and January 2022 by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Beirut. Mixed and produced by Elyse Tabet, with additional mixing by Fadi Tabbal. Mastered by Cedrik Fermont at Syrphe, Berlin.

Out on December 02, 2022.

Listen/Order at Ruptured


Ziad Nawfal Guest Mix for Movement Radio // 04 October 2022

Ziad Nawfal’s monthly mix for Movement Radio in Athens, featuring music from Lebanon and the UK. This mix was commissioned and produced by Onassis Cultural Center, and presented for the first time in the frame of MOVEMENT RADIO.

1. Julia Sabra & Fadi Tabbal – Roots [LB]
2. Yara Asmar – Numbers Don’t Make Good Friends [LB]
3. Jad Atoui & Jawad Nawfal – Reading 1 [LB]
4. Marc Codsi – Finding Home [LB]
5. Postcards – Keep the Elephant in The Room (with Serge Yared) [LB]
6. Elyse Tabet – We Slept Through the Day [LB]
7. Xlmxkhfi – Movement Song [LB]
8. Fadi Tabbal – Are Aquariums Moral [LB]
9. Marc Codsi – Hangar #12 [LB]
10. Xlmxkhfi – Black Beach [LB]
11. Postcards – Kozo [LB]
12. Mayssa Jallad & Khaled Allaf – Madina Min Baeed [LB]
13. Stress Distress – Different Currencies [LB]
14. Muslimgauze & The Rootsman – Fuck Yitzhak Rabin / Fuck Ehud Olmert [UK]

Photo by Nour Raad

Ziad Nawfal for Radio Alhara – Beacon Sound Takeover // 21 September 2022

Indie labels Ruptured and Beacon Sound have worked together since 2015, and we released our 6th collaboration in October 2022: Lebanese musicians Julia Sabra and Fadi Tabbal’s first full-length album Snakeskin.

For the occasion, we invited Andrew from Beacon Sound to take over our monthly residency at Radio Alhara. His mix showcases 3 tracks from this new album by Fadi and Julia, as well as excerpts from his label’s recent releases.

1. Rishin Singh – Saboteur (Edit)
2. Patricia Wolf – A Conversation With My Innocence
3. Location Services & Derek Hunter-Wilson – Strand
4. Julia Sabra & Fadi Tabbal – Signs
5. Fadi Tabbal – The Death Of Strangers
6. Justin Wright – Morning Is A Stray Thread
7. Rauelsson & Tatu Rönkkö – Kuvakudos
8. Location Services & Derek Hunter Wilson – Delicate Need (Starlight Assembly Remix)
9. Anthony Sahyoun – Heritage
10. Julia Sabra & Fadi Tabbal – One By One
11. Carlos Ferreira – Aimless Wandering
12. Dolphin Midwives – Idyll
13. Dominic Voz – City Currach
14. Sontag Shogun x Lau Nau – Hidas Laulu
15. Julia Sabra & Fadi Tabbal – In Our Garden
16. Yara Asmar – Thanks For Coming