Sunday, July 6, 2008

Arab Alternative Music (3): Lebanon

It would have been impossible to give an idea of the alternative musical scene in Lebanon without the help of some Internet sites.

Four of them deserve a very special mention:
- Incognito, founded very recently by Tony Sfeir in order to settle a kind of regional network for Arab alternative musicians (and artists as Incognito also offers a selection of DVD, books and comics).
- Forward Production founded in 2001 by film maker Carole Mansour and player Ghazi Abdel Baki with the idea of “pooling together the cooperative efforts of young artists in the Middle East” and aiming “to encourage new and creative trends in the musical
- Al-Maslakh (the Slaughterhouse) is an UFO says the group of
musicians who launched that new label some five years ago, in order to “document the nascent scene” which was emerging at that time, largely thanks to Irtijal, a festival they organise since 2000, dedicated to (experimental) improvisation.
- The last one, Those kids must choke, goes more or less on the same experimental tracks.

Following the previous posts, some remarks about “Oriental Jazz”, an expression made popular in the mid 80’s by Ziad Rahbani who does not like it anymore. Mention must be made to musicians like the oud player Charbel Rouhana or the singer Rima Kcheich.

In a less jazzy mood, you may enjoy Ziad Sahhab work with his band Shahhadeen Ya Baladna.

Fans of musical experimentation will listen to the works of the Irtijal (Improvisation) Festival, Bechir Saade, Raed Yassin and Mazen Kerbaj (author of the picture used for this post).

Here to read the original post in French.

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