£9.99Release Date: 02/03/2018Visit product page →
For its 20th release, Lebanese indie label Ruptured presents the free-rock powerhouse trio of Lebanese musicians Sharif Sehnaoui and Tony Elieh, on electric guitar and bass respectively, and drummer Davide Zolli from Italian psych rock collective Squadra Omega.
The music was composed and played by Sehnaoui, Elieh and Zolli, and recorded in one single take by Matt Bordin at Outside Inside Studios on October 6, 2016.
The album was mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering, and is released by Lebanese imprint Ruptured as a limited edition of 300 copies.
2. Too Young To Rock'n'Roll
4. Another One Of Those Very Long Go
£19.49Release Date: 03/02/2018Visit product page →
'Postcards is a dream pop/indie rock band formed in Beirut (Lebanon) by four friends in the summer of 2012. After a series of EPs, they will be releasing their first full-length album on the 26th of January 2018, teaming up once again with producer Fadi Tabbal of Tunefork Studios.
‘I’ll be here in the morning’ is defined by hushed, introspective vocals floating over expansive sonic spaces that shift between harsh noise and dreamy soundscapes. The constant oscillation between the opposite states of mind that the band deals with in Lebanon runs deep within the album both musically and lyrically. The music alternates between repeated cycles of calm and unrest, anger and surrender, simplicity and intricacy as Julia Sabra - the band’s singer and lyricist - tackles this recurrent theme of duality.
The songs see her struggle with feelings of sadness, indifference, deception, femininity and empowerment. The end result is the most sincere and personal project the quartet has produced so far. Since 2013, Postcards have released three well-received EPs (Lakehouse in 2013, What Lies So Still in 2015, and Here Before in 2017) and have been regularly touring Europe, the UK and the Middle East. They also opened for Beirut (2014) and Angus and Julia Stone (2015).
“A patient album of understated beauty – thoughtful and deliberate” PROJECT REVOLVER LEBANON
“None of the tracks is simply a gap-filler (…) The songs constantly surprise the audience and charm them from the first listen.” LIE IN THE SOUND GERMANY
“The feelings Postcards project live are a true representation of life here, a city of youth, love and life, with an underlying, unspoken sense of dejection and gloom ” GET OUT BLOG LEBANON
“La voix aerienne et onirique de Julia Sabra, d’une sensibilite extreme, donne la chair de poule. Un album prometteur que nous attendons avec impatience” L’OFFICIEL LEVANT LEBANON
“One can let oneself be absorbed in Postcards and let oneself go into meditativeness or follow the well-made melodic and rhythmic subtleties ofthe music.” KULTUR PEGEL GERMANY
1. Open Waters
2. Bright Lights
3. Before We Sleep
4. A Broken Record
7. Flying Saucers
9. Wide Awake
£19.49Visit product page →
The Bunny Tylers is a duo from Lebanon whose core consists of two prominent musicians from the Beirut scene: singer-songwriter and guitarist Charbel Haber (Scrambled Eggs, Malayeen, Johnny Kafta’s Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra) and multi-instrumentalist and producer Fadi Tabbal (The Incompetents, Under the Carpet, Safar).
The group is a natural amalgamation of the prolific career of the two long-time collaborators, fusing Haber’s songwriting sensibility with Tabbal’s technical and instrumental know-how and tying musical loose ends from both musicians’ past work.
Initially formed to score Nadim Tabet and Karine Wehbe’s video essay “Summer ’91”, they continued working in film scoring, art installations and their own releases.
Their 2nd album “Chance Meetings”, recorded with the help of Benoit de Villeneuve in Paris, sets Haber’s bleak songs and sorrowful voice against a backdrop of beats and textures spawned from the pair’s post-punk, ambient and drone roots.
The result is a drug-hazy polaroid of murder mysteries and misspent youth, the last remnants of a Film Noir set in abandoned Lebanese coastal resorts.
The album is due for release in January 2018 by Lebanese label Ruptured and Cargo Records.
1. While We Danced I Dreamt Of Being A Serial Killer
2. One Of These Days
3. I'll Make It Up To You
4. A Sunset Is Another Sunrise
5. Imaginary Song
6. Hello Your Grace
7. Junkie Hideout In Suburbia
8. Ete 91
9. Fish Die In Millions
10. It Seems It All Disappears
£18.49(Both formats limited to 300 copies) - Kinematik is an instrumental rock band from Lebanon, whose music blends elements of 70’s psychedelia, progressive rock and post-rock. It was formed in the winter of 2014 by Anthony Sahyoun (guitars) and Rudy Ghafari (keyboards) as a rock/electronic project with no incentive to perform but only to compose music.Visit product page →
By the summer of 2014 the duo had evolved into a 5-piece band with the addition of Akram Hajj, Roy Khazen and Gerard Rechdan in the rhythm section. Rechdan left the band in the winter of 2015. Kinematik’s rock sound is both diligent and intuitional, ranging from raucous improvisational psychedelic rock to steady and mechanical electronic grooves, with frequent post-rock climaxes.
Immediate points of comparison include Explosions in the Sky and Loop, as well as Can (for the tendency towards Motorik beats) and Tortoise (for the intricacies of their layered compositions).
Kinematik composes instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, strong melodic lines, a heavy use of distortion and effects, and some reliance on electronics and synthezisers.
Their audio-visual performances have earned them a solid reputation and massive local following over the years, both on account of the musicians’ vibrant stage presence and Cynthia ël-Hasbani’s original animations and live veejaying.
Following a series of live performances all over Lebanon, the band started collaborating with renowned Lebanese producer Fadi Tabbal from Tunefork Studios (Postcards, Bunny Tylers, Safar, Filter Happier, etc.), who produced their debut LP ALA’.
In order to preserve the raw and vital feel of Kinematik’s live performances, the album was recorded on reel to reel tape, a recording process that has not occurred in Lebanon for the last decade.
1. Kelmeh Oula
4. Ana Baher
6. Aawaynet Nazar
7. Kelmeh Oula
10. Ana Baher
12. Aawaynet Nazar
£8.99Safar is a Lebanese duo founded in 2013 by Mayssa Jallad (vocals, various percussion) and Elie Abdelnour (acoustic and electric guitars, bass). They are furthermore accompanied by their producer Fadi Tabbal on electric guitar, synthesizers and beats during live performances.Visit product page →
Safar’s music consists of a very personal take on American and British psychedelic folk, infused with modern pop and rock references, as well as subtle references to the Lebanese golden age of 60's surf.
The band possesses a strong and widespread following in Lebanon, gathered over the years thanks to a number of intimate performances marked by singer Jallad’s emotional vocal delivery and Abdelnour's intricate guitar work.
"In Transit", a compilation of their first three EPs "23 Kilograms", "Carry-On" and "Gate 03", was released by Lebanese independent label Ruptured in December 2016 in a limited edition of 300 copies.
2. 23 Kilograms
3. Olive Oil Soul
4. Between The Trees
7. Wa Namshi
8. Paper Planes
9. No Service
10. It's You
11. The Greatest Fear
12. Kayfa A3oud
£8.99Limited edition of 250 copies.Visit product page →
Third solo album from Fadi Tabbal, lead guitarist with Lebanese psychedelic rock band The Incompetents and various others. This album continues further the work of sound exploration through guitar treatments, which began with “On the Rooftop Looking Up” (2013) - a finely-devised interaction of ambient soundscapes with John Fahey-inspired acoustic meanderings - and developed further on 2015’s “Museum of Disappearing Buildings” - an interplay of ambient guitar drones and grainy electronics.
For his third album, Tabbal continues further his exploration of electronics, beats and synthetic sounds through his guitar. The single, 32-minute track brings to mind the early work of sonic mavericks Ben Frost, Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin. Recorded live in one take without any cuts or overdubs.
£9.49Mme Chandelier is the alter-ego of Anthony Sahyoun, guitar player extraordinaire with Lebanese post-rock quartet Kinematik. His first solo record is released by Lebanese imprint Ruptured as a limited edition of 250 copies.Visit product page →
2. Minimal Potato
£10.99Limited run of 250 physical copies of the album.Visit product page →
Kid Fourteen is the solo project of Khodor Ellaik, a punk musician born and bred in Beirut with a range of influences that includes Joe The Clash, Alan Vega, and more recently Sleaford Mods and Alex Huang from Dirty Beaches. Between 2010 and 2014, Ellaik was the frontman of Beirut Scum Society and short-lived post-punk/no-wave outfit Friendly Faces.
Both bands split in acrimonious circumstances. Ellaik adopted a solo aesthetic using a small assortment of synthesizers and drum machines, in order to shape what became Kid Fourteen's trademark sound, an impressive blend of punk sensibilities and noise-pop elements.
He has performed in several European festivals, including “Incubate” in Holland and “Waveteef” in Belgium. Back home in Beirut, he has organized successful concerts for prominent international bands such as Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches.Kid Fourteen’s debut album “Dream Kids Never Sleep” was self-released digitally in June 2016.
1. The Dancer
2. Fast Times In The Pleasure Land
3. It's A Lovely Night
4. Whirlwind Blues
5. Find Your Lover
6. The City Ways, The City Weighs
7. I Get Around All Day
8. Humphrey, It's A Pleasure Principle
9. I Wonder If My Father
10. Whirlwind Blues (Xiu Xiu Remix)
£9.99The BUNNY TYLERS is a collaboration between Charbel Haber (Scrambled Eggs, Malayeen, Johnny Kafta Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra) and Fadi Tabbal (The Incompetents, Under The Carpet, Safar), aimed at the exploration of different guitar bowing techniques and celebrating the smell of cold tobacco, cheap aftershave, eternal sunsets and surfer suicides. "Glitches and Drones 2013-2016" will be released by Lebanese independent label Ruptured on November 8, 2016 in a limited edition of 300 copies.Visit product page →
1. Contact Transfer Stains
2. Music For Debris Found Along The Coastline
3. The Colorful Dreams Of The Cross Dressing Killer
4. Mothers Make Murderers
5. While Her Blood Screams His Name
£19.99Visit product page →
Jawad Nawfal is a pioneer of Lebanon’s electronic/dance scene. Starting out as a DJ and event promoter in the late 90’s, he eventually moved on to production and composition in the early 2000’s, forming live electronic duos Ae_Quo and AEX with Lebanese musician Victor Bresse.
Nawfal created MUNMA in the aftermath of Israel’s war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006 -- this solo project explores oriental harmonies and rhythmical patterns, with a strong reliance on sampled traditional musical beds, excerpts from politicians’ speeches and radio broadcasts. In 2012, Jawad started working with Lebanese writer and slam poet Mazen el-Sayed aka “El Rass”, and the two musicians released two albums which explore the darker sides of rap, and display strong electronica and dubstep influences.
In the following years, Nawfal collaborated with Belgian electronic producer Cedrik Fermont, and released 3 albums on his label Syrphe Records with different contributors.
THREE VOICES is the first vinyl release from Munma, and the second vinyl release from Lebanese alternative label Ruptured (following RadioKVM’s ‘Issrar’ in 2014). Munma’s new album is marked by several vocal collaborations, a departure in style for this pioneer of Beirut's electronic scene. As such, the vocal element was always present in the music of Munma, whether through radio broadcasts, samples of political speeches, recordings of musicians’ voices and the like, but he had never actually used the human voice as an intrinsic element in his compositions.
Following his successful collaboration with rapper El Rass and other hip-hop artists from Beirut and the neighboring area (including Touffar, El Far3i and Boikutt, among others), Jawad Nawfal became drawn towards the capabilities of the human voice, more specifically the reciting of poetry by a human voice, and began to integrate this element in his music process.
He called on various writers, mostly female ones, to write personal texts and recite them in spoken-word form in the studio. He then proceeded to build specific music beds around these voice recordings and recitations.
The resulting album is ‘Three Voices’, a fully collaborative yet vastly personal album of electronic treatments and human narration.
3. Three voices
4. Chien fou
5. Solstice 2
6. Cadavre exquis
7. Rêve éveil
£19.49Fadi Tabbal, lead guitarist with Lebanese psychedelic rock band The Incompetents and various other alternative outfits, releases his second solo album, “Museum of Disappearing Buildings”, in November 2015. This album continues further the work of sound exploration through guitar treatments, which began with “On the Rooftop Looking Up” in 2013.Visit product page →
While the young guitarist’s first album featured a finely-devised interaction of ambient soundscapes and John Fahey-inspired finger-picking acoustic meanderings, this second solo outing adopts a different approach: it relies on an interplay of ambient guitar drones and grainy electronics, which recalls to a degree the work of early Krautrock vanguard artists from the 1970’s, the leftfield exploration of British electro-acoustic practitioners from the mid-1970’s, as well as the radical works of American minimalistic composers from the 1960’s.
Similarly to his first outing, Tabbal preferred a radical and direct approach to composition and recording, opting for the intimacy and self-reflection of home recordings, rather than the traditional environment of a recording studio. At the heart of the album, resides one unifying concept, which finds its way into the resulting musical bed: the sketches and impossible structures and urban configurations of Russian paper architects Brodsky and Utkin.
1. A Bridge
2. A Glass Tower
3. A Hill With A Hole
4. A Bridge Across the Precipice
5. Doll's House
6. Wandering Turtle in a Maze of a Big City
7. A Bridge Across the Precipice in the High Mountains
8. A Monument of the Year 2000
9. Crystal Palace
Ruptured / Hamim
£11.99The city of Tripoli is, to a certain extent, shrouded in media-fabricated illusion. Whenever it’s on the news, it’s often bad news: from the ongoing armed clashes between supporters and detractors of the Syrian Revolution, to unspeakable acts such as the of a library carrying various rare and precious works. Despite this, the city’s inhabitants know what life in the city is like first-hand and have their own unique perceptions and memories of Tripoli. Such is the case with Mazen El Sayed, 29, better known by his stage name, El Rass.Visit product page →
El Sayed is an Arabic MC who currently resides in Beirut but hails from the northern port city of Tripoli. His music is typically characterized by highly opinionated, thought-provoking lyrics dealing with everything from politics to society, philosophy and religion, recited over experimental beats. The sound is something more akin to alternative electronica than to standard hip hop. Topics have ranged from critiquing Orientalism, in the track (Orientalism), to the taboo subject of a woman’s honor, in the track (In Your Honor), to singing the praises of the penguin metaphorically, in the track (The Penguin). One subject which often recurs in El Sayed’s work is his hometown of Tripoli, which serves as the topic of his latest music video for (From the Planet Fayhaa). In it, he discusses Tripoli as he sees it, and praises all those who are able to see it their own way.
He states in the song: “This song’s for the people of the city abroad. Smiling faces, sad hearts abroad. This song’s for all those whose life is difficult. Who were able to go beyond the walls of the box. This song’s for those hanging out, chilling. With or without religion.” At the time of El Sayed’s upbringing, Tripoli was under Syrian occupation: it was a city suppressed, inhibited, and in the MC’s own words “gloomy”. But perhaps the state the city was in only served to encourage curiosity and defiance in El Sayed, who recalls: “We wanted to live the city in a way that was different than the way we were expected to live it.” When it comes to his rhymes, El Sayed remarks, “to me, the act of writing is an explosion." El Sayed does not regard Tripoli as a purely political, social or religious object, instead, he describes it as a multi-dimensional entity, not unlike a person: “It’s like you’re talking about somebody you truly love, but see in them all their different sides, those you might love and those you might hate; depending on the moment, depending on the emotion that was born as a reason to write at that moment, you’re gonna go in different directions,” explains El Sayed. Case in point, the tracks Fi Qal’at Tarablus (In the Citadel of Tripoli) and Min Kawkab Al Fayhaa (From the Planet Fayhaa). In Fi Qal’at Tarablus, El Sayed tackles the social, political, and religious facets of Tripoli with tones of anger and frustration, personifying these issues as a literal beast that inhabits the famed Citadel of Tripoli. On the other end of the spectrum, Min Kawkab Al Fayhaa sees him taking a more personal laid-back approach, relating the experiences of a day spent out and about in the city.
Despite his music’s relevance to Tripoli, El Sayed does not have as great a following in the city itself as that of his Beirut audience. He attributes this to two things: a lack of venues in Tripoli and not enough openness to different kinds of music. El Sayed feels the tides are turning: "a segment of the youth have recently liberated themselves, choosing to engage more with reality, be active, do things. When they took that step, they found me." Another factor that may have contributed to the popularity of El Sayed’s music in Lebanon as a whole might be his even greater popularity in neighboring Arab countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. “We have a mentality, sadly, that when you prove yourself outside, people start getting curious about you inside,” comments the MC.
Despite his ever-growing popularity, locally, regionally and abroad, El Sayed is not concerned with where he is most popular or how many fans he can win over, and still appreciates those who were with him on his musical journey since day one, which kicked off with the launch of his debut album Kachf El Mahjoub (Unveiling the Hidden) in 2012. “The model in my head isn’t to get to somewhere where a million people listen to [me]. I’m looking for core fans, people who really interact, who really think.” Beirut.com
1. My Battle
2. Storm in a Teacup
4. To an Idea
5. Elevator Music
6. In the Ice
7. Return of the Penguin
8. Octopus Arm
9. We Will Not Return
11. Small Intestines
12. Who's Afraid
13. Breaking News
14. Idol After Idol
Ruptured / Tunefork
£9.49Lebanese musician, producer and sound engineer Fadi Tabbal’s first solo release, and consists of guitar pieces ranging from stripped acoustics to ambient/shoegazing-inspired treatments.Visit product page →
Often referred to as “the hardest-working man in Lebanon’s alternative music scene,” Tabbal relocated to Beirut in 2006, following studies in sound engineering in Montreal, Canada; he promptly established Tunefork Recording Studios, a specialized work-space which offers customized services ranging from full band recordings, live sound, production and music composition.
Tabbal is a full-time member of several Lebanese bands, including psychedelic rock band The Incompetents, experimental rock quartet XEFM, and drone unit Under the Carpet. He collaborates frequently with folk singer Youmna Saba and punk band Scrambled Eggs.
In addition to managing and handling all engineering tasks at Tunefork Studios, Tabbal is a specialist in sound design and sound conception. He has worked on a variety of projects, including sound installations for Lebanese art group The Feel Collective, and sound design for films by Lebanese filmmakers Maher Abi-Samra, Rania Rafei, Leila Hoteit, among others.
1. Brothers from Another Planet
3. On the Rooftop Looking Up
6. In the Dust of the Stars 1
9. In the Dust of the Stars 2
10. The Land That Time Forgot
11. District 11
13. Distant Relatives
14. The Quiet Earth
15. Castles in the Air
16. Under a Flag
18. Somewhere in Time
20. Near the Hillside
£18.49Limited edition of 300.Visit product page →
Hailing from Beirut, Lebanon, Sary Moussa aka RadioKVM is a self-taught electronic musician. Moussa grew up listening to rock and jazz, before diving into electronica. He started crafting his own melodies under the moniker RadioKVM in 2008. He collaborated closely with Lebanese producer Okydoky, organizing live gigs and releasing a batch of demos; the two men became notorious on the live circuit of Beirut’s electronic scene.“Issrar” is RadioKVM’s first full-length album, and the first vinyl release from Lebanese independent label Ruptured. The process of creating the record was informed by frequent forays into Techno (TM404, Karl O’Connor…), Krautrock, Post-rock, Bass music, Birmingham techno, Dubstep, Loop music, and healthy doses of Terry Riley and Lamonte Young.
In later years, Moussa collaborated with Lebanese electronic producers Munma, Jad Atoui, and Liliane Chlela, releasing both remixes and original compositions for label compilations; he has also composed music for theatre and dance performances, as well as soundtracks for short films.
The album documents a shift in the way Moussa envisages and creates music. While he relied heavily on software-generated finite processes and patterns in the past, the computer became less involved in the set-up and composition of “Issrar”: all tracks on the album originally consist of 40 or 50-minute multi-track recordings, which were edited at a later stage.
2. Breeding Clones
4. Alpha Apparatus
£17.49Visit product page →
Limited edition, rare pressing CD, with a fold-out sleeve that becomes a lyrics sheet.
Scrambled Eggs’ 11th release contains tracks recorded between 2006 and 2009.
These songs revisit the band’s punk aesthetic, from the ferocious Nirvana-inspired “That Fancy Behavior” to the more temperate “Let It Go”, from the soundtrack to Lebanese feature film “Je Veux Voir”.
1. The Party
2. See You In Beirut
3. Let It Go (Extended Take)
4. Ms. June
5. Don't Come Knocking
6. Murder '06
7. That Fancy Behaviour
8. We're Out Setting Buildings To Flame
9. Murder '09
£7.49Visit product page →
Munma grew out of the aftermath of Israel's 2006 bombardment of Lebanon when Nawfal decided to explore traditional Arabic harmonies and rhythms within a cutting-edge electro aesthetic.
The resulting albums combine a dark and often unsettling tone with a fragile beauty. "Previews and Premises" is no exception. Somewhat gentler than the accompanying live performance, Nawfal's latest album leaves room for reflection amid the unabashed beats and makes use of an intriguing array of samples.
The Arabic connection, for instance, is easier to discern in the recorded version. Amid the Doppler-effect drones and elastic bass tones of "Motion Sickness," it is possible to discern a lamenting voice. The opening number, "Soft Integration," positions a tremulous flute over a science-fiction array of bleeps and burps.
As in previous albums, Nawfal uses snatches of recorded speech. On "The Alchemist," an extended diatribe on musical aesthetics from a crisp-voiced gentleman is woven in and out of a prowling, moody beat and glitch-dominated electronic tones. There is still plenty of music for dancing to on the disc. "Ear Damage" combines a propulsive, punchy beat with drifting curtains of sound. "The Alchemist" uses a concatenation of beats that almost brings to mind the catchiness of last summer's German breakout act, Moderat.
"Previews and Premises," is a compilation of Nawfal's work from the past four years. "Some of it was meant to appear on previous Munma releases," Nawfal explains in the sleeve notes, "but eventually kept aside for later inclusion." Perhaps made with a little less urgency than previous EPs,
"Previews and Premises" is nonetheless an absorbing listen, showcasing the range of Nawfal's vision. From the spacey dance tunes of "Bits and Dust" and "Explorer" to the eccentric electro of "Attention Disorder," "Previews and Premises" signals a notable talent in full command of his material.” The Daily Star
1 Soft Integration
2 The Alchemist
3 Motion Sickness
4 Ear Damage
6 Attention Disorder
7 It Came From Under The Sea
8 Bits And Dust
£11.99Visit product page →
The Ruptured Sessions is a series of live recordings produced by Lebanese radio host Ziad Nawfal in the studios of Radio Lebanon. The sessions take place during Nawfal’s weekly program Ruptures, with musicians from Beirut’s alternative scene and elsewhere.
Volume 5documents the city’s younger wave of electronic composers, and features impressive performances from the likes of Jad Atoui, Liliane Chlela, Mocques and RadioKVM. Also included are recordings from such visionaries as Robert Lowe (in his Lichens guise); up-and-coming international projects Praed and Under The Carpet; as well as an exclusive duo of Lebanese guitarist Charbel Haber and Canadian sound-maker Radwan Ghazi Moumneh.
1. Aristophanes (213)[Live] by RadioKVM
2. Clowns & Elephants / Religion & Doom (Radio Liban Edit Live) by Mocques
3. Impulse (Live) by Jad Atoui
4. Euphonic Discordance Take 2 (Live) by Liliane Chlela
5. How We Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Feedback (Live) by Under The Carpet
6. Swarmed (Live) by Lichens
7. Burning, Burnt (Live) by Charbel Nicolas Haber, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh
8. 8 Gega (Live) by Praed
£5.99Visit product page →
Under The Carpet is a musical trio based in Beirut, formed in 2011 by Swiss musician Paed Conca, French musician Stéphane Rives, and Lebanese musician Fadi Tabbal.
Paed Conca is an experienced and seasoned musician in the fields of experimental music, improvised music and electronica. He has also written music for theatre, dance, film productions and small ensembles, and has toured extensively in Europe, Russia, Japan and Lebanon, with a vast array of international musicians, for the past 20 years.
Stéphane Rives comes from the world of free jazz and improvised music, and has contributed on a regular basis to Lebanon’s Festival of improvised music, Irtijal, since its inception in the year 2001. He has written music for theatre, dance and film, and has toured extensively in Europe.
Fadi Tabbal is one of the most active musicians in Beirut’s alternative pop & rock scene, as a member of several groups and projects, and as the owner and sound engineer of the renowned Tunefork Recording Studios.
At the essence of UTC is the idea of melody, of a defined melodic line, upon which the three musicians are free to improvise at will, yet always returning to this initial melodic idea, building upon it, enriching it with successive layers of sound, transforming it into one or a series of compositions. The initial starting point is a ‘pop’ idea, slowly but surely deconstructed, abstracted, in order to be rebuilt along lines of playing and communication that befit the three musicians’ specific idioms. Tabbal utilizes the electric guitar as his main instrument, and uses it along a decidedly ‘western’ approach, favoring blues and rock-derived inflections. He also relies on an iPad to create layers of rhythm and electronic percussion. Rives is an astonishingly skilled saxophone player, and relies on various sounds coaxed from his instrument and transformed electronically through his laptop.
Conca uses both an electric bass and a clarinet to enrich UTC’s tapestry. His bottom-heavy lines and considerable experience provide impetus and direction to the music, driving it forward with ease and momentum, reminiscent at times of his fine work with PRAED, his duo with Lebanese acoustic bass player Raed Yassin. While the music created by UTC hints at different musical traditions, owing as much to western rock forms (Tabbal’s guitar), European improvisation (Rives’s treated saxophone and electronics) and experimentation (Conca’s bass and clarinet-playing), the end result feels cohesive, dynamic, rich in layers and meanings, and overall respectful of its varying origins.
UTC is an important project, as it bridges the gap between different musical traditions; it puts forward music strategies designed for a modern age of improvisation, informed entirely by pre-existing musical idioms and an overreaching instinct for melody
1 A New Hope For Medical Treatment
2 There's No Picture Of The Band
3 Weird Sounds From The Kitchen
4 Water People
6 Procedures Concerning The Foreigners
7 Bourgeois Corporation
8 There's No One In The Accounting Dept.
9 Sizes Performance And Capacity
10 Twinkle Twinkle (Part 1)
11 Twinkle Twinkle (Part 2)
12 You're Invited But Your Friend Isn't
13 Get Me A Pack
14 How Much Can You Fit On A Floppy
15 Footnote In Your History (Part 1)
16 Footnote In Your History (Part 2)
17 Footnote In Your History (Part 3)
18 Radio Kongo
19 Late Night Tales
20 Rock Bottom
21 The Days Of The Minitel Are Over
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