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Selections: Rabih Beaini

In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their Bandcamp collections. This week, ahead of his appearance at Semibreve Festival next week, Morphine Records boss Rabih Beaini spotlights Serbian krautrock, ultra-fast dance music , Arabic post rock and more

In describing one of his Selections, Berlin-based Lebanese artist and Morphine Records boss Rabih Beaini describes his DJ style as “harsh and powerful, but still gives space to any other intervention”. It’s the perfect encapsulation of his process across the board; his improvised live sets, collabs and productions strike a balance between exhilarating electronic deviation and live Middle Eastern instrumentation and free jazz fluidity. 

Last August, Beaini curated ‘The Sacred Rage’, a 12-track compilation in aid of charity initiatives responding to the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut, which killed more than 220 people, injured thousands and left countless others homeless.  Featuring contributions from the likes of Donato Dozzy, The Bug, Rashad Becker, Natalie Beridze and more, all funds from the release have gone toward on-the-ground initiatives providing food, medicine and structural supplies to those who need it most in the aftermath of the explosion. 

Next week, from 28th - 31st October, Semibreve festival returns to Braga, Portugal, with Beaini playing live alongside harpists Angélica Salvi and Eleonor Picas in the city’s stunning Theatro Circo. As part the festival’s panel programme, Beaini, Salvi and Picas will be joined by artist and researcher Heitor Alvelos for a conversation on the collaborative process. 

Semibreve will also feature a new multi-channel electronic piece by Flora Yin-Wong, Laurel Halo performing alongside cellist Oliver Coates, Nik Void with Klara Lewis and visual artist Pedro Maia, and north-American harpist Zeena Parkins joining Portuguese maestro André Gonçalves. Ticket for Semibreve are available here.

In the meantime, check out Rabih Beaini’s Selections below. 

‘Alkisah II’ [Various Labels]

“This track is from the album ‘Alkisah’, the last by Senyawa. It was produced by them and they decided to make an open call for any label that wanted to publish it. It ended up on more than 40 labels, most of them did their own set of remixes, and the personalized artwork. The song is part of the narrative of the Apocalypse, as told in a "story", the meaning of Alkisah in the Bahasa language." 

Michael Zerang
'Chicago Flyaway’ [Pink Palace]

“This isn't a new publication, but is fairly recent. The amazing drummer from Chicago is famed for being eclectic and he works with a wide range of different projects, the most recent one being Karkhana, the super band composed of mostly Middle Eastern musicians, alongside his amazing ongoing duo with legendary drummer Hamid Drake.” 

‘Down in the Meadow’ [Morphine Records]

“The new release on Morphine Records is a smashing band from Berlin and Belgrade. Svetana Spajic is narrating folk stories and popular modes from Serbia, while Guido Möbius and Andi Stetcher deliver powerful yet delicate rhythms and feedback harmonics.” 

Vladislav Delay
‘Rakka’ [Cosmo Rhythmatic]

“The twist of Vladislav Delay in this recent album, ‘Rakka’, blew my mind completely when I was browsing for new pieces to play at a DJ set. It's now part of my selection and it covers what I mostly love in a piece to DJ: harsh and powerful, but still gives space to any other intervention.” 

Raja Kirik
‘Rampokan II’ [Yes No Wave]

“The Indonesian duo Raja Kirik is delivering an insane interpretation of Javanese ritualistic music, with haunting rhythms and synthesized melodies, bordering with noise and trance (the Indonesian one).” 

‘Umeme’ [Nyege Nyege Tapes]

“A couple of years ago Nyege Nyege put out this astonishing production by Judhgitzu, electronically interpreting ultra-fast dance patterns and structures, to push the limits on the dancefloor.” 

Two or the Dragon
'Dance Grooves For The Weary’ [Ruptured]

“The duo from Lebanon comprised of Abed Kobeissy and Ali Hout, after delivering Prelude for the Triumphant Man, quickly became one of the most prominent and fresh sound coming out of the Middle East. Their new release on Ruptured is a combination of hyper electronics and weird grooves, evolving throughout the 17 minute long composition."

‘Creamer’ [Drone]

“The new release by Container is yet another unmissable, uncompromised smasher from the king of American Noise.”

PRAED Orchestra!
‘Il A3sab’ [Morphine Records]

“This monumental piece by Praed is a new form of post rock, interpreted by a 13 piece band, with the legendary Alan Bishop on vocals, singing in arabic.” 

Sugai Ken
‘Gendaihooooougaku’ [Discrepant]

"A must-mention total killer track by one of the most interesting producers out of Japan. Sugai Ken draws painting made of sounds, destroys them, recomposes them, in a natural process of architecture made of natural elements and ultra hitech material. 'Gendaihooooougaku' is a standing piece in my DJ selection."