WHO KILLED BRUCE LEE
Formed in 2009 by Wassim Bou Malham on vocals and guitar, Hassib Dergham on keyboards, Pascal Sarkis on bass and Malek Rizkallah on drums, WHO KILLED BRUCE LEE is an alternative Lebanese rock band currently based in Germany. What started out as a covers band playing tracks by The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem and Queens of the Stone Age quickly snowballed into a 5-song EP of original material released in 2012. In 2013, WKBL were chosen to co-headline the Middle East’s first Red Bull Soundclash edition, which saw them face-off with the internationally acclaimed Mashrou' Leila.
In 2015, the band performed with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra in Beirut’s Martyr’s Square on the occasion of Beirut Spring Festival. That same year, after playing an impressive set at La Boule Noire in Paris, they were taken under the helm of German management company Brainstorm Music Marketing. WKBL recorded their first full-length album, “Distant Rendez-Vous”, at Berlin’s Riverside Studios with internationally acclaimed producer Victor Van Vugt (Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, P.J. Harvey). The band is currently busy writing its second album while on tour somewhere between Beirut and Berlin.
THE BUNNY TYLERS
On celebrating cold tobacco and cheap aftershave, eternal California 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) and Fadi Tabbal (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 demise of Scrambled Eggs (Haber’s
former rock combo) as the two men’s solo records, not forgetting a very tangible teenage dream of remaking My Bloody Valentine’s
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 Lebanese indie label 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, and is due for release during the 2017 edition of Wickerpark Festival.
CHYNO x AL RAJUL AL HADIDI
Syrian/Philippino hip-hop artist CHYNO moved to Beirut at age 18. He joined John Nasr and fellow MC Edd Abbas’ hip-hop collective Fareeq el Atrash in 2009. Following two highly successful albums with the latter, he embarked on a solo career and released his first solo album “Making Music to Feel At Home” in 2015.
Chyno x Al Rajul Al Hadidi is the highly successful pairing of Chyno
with Lebanese drummer-turned- electronic music producer Nabil Saliba, known for his varied musical productions with Lebanese artists such as Munma, Slutterhouse and Trash Inc. An expert blend of drum machines, hard-hitting basslines and potent lyrics, Chyno x Al Rajul Al Hadidi began touring in the spring of 2016, and are presently recording an album entitled “The Merchants of Menace”.
Hailing from Aleppo, Syria, one of the most mystical and musically
rich cities in the Levant, HELLO PSYCHALEPPO is a project by Samer Saem Eldahr, deeply rooted in oriental music and culture. Hello Psychaleppo successfully blends Arab heritage music and electronic sounds. Rare melodies of Bedouin "mawwals" and choirs of traditional Tarab songs intersect carefully with industrial structures treading the line between dubstep, drum & bass and trip-hop strains. This potent combination results in a journey away from boundaries of style, with a highly distinguishable and contemporary feel. Hello Psychaleppo’s first album “Gool L'ah” was self-released in 2013, while second album “Ha!” was released through Lebanese label Let’s Play Records in 2014.
Salim Naffah aka ALKO B. is a Lebanese singer/songwriter, guitar and bass player. Formerly a member of Goldfish Parade, Adonis, Loopstache, Safar and most recently Wanton Bishops, he has also played in Karim Khneisser’s band and performed with famed Lebanese producer Fadi Tabbal in Once More with Feeling. Naffah started to work on his first solo record, “Sex Tapes”, in August 2015 while on tour with Wanton Bishops. The album is a compilation of tracks he wrote and recorded on his own, little bits and pieces of drafts compiled on his computer, in his room, in a bus, on a train or in a hotel room on tour. Oftentimes consisting of a sole vocal or guitar line, these songs were eventually fleshed out and released in late 2016. Naffah is presently working on a new batch of Alko B. songs, due for release in the fall of 2017.
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), who were joined later on by Akram Hajj on drums and Roy Khazen on bass. 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. The band composes instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, strong melodic lines, a heavy use of distortion and effects, and some reliance on electronics and synthesizers.
Kinematik’s 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. They collaborated with renowned Lebanese producer Fadi Tabbal from Tunefork Studios on the production of debut LP “Ala’”. In order to preserve the raw and vital feel of the band’s live performances, the album was recorded on reel to reel tape, a recording process that had not occurred in Lebanon for the last decade. “Ala’” was released by Lebanese independent label Ruptured on LP & CD in March 2017.
Lebanese-born Roland Ragi has been into music since the days of the cassette. Over the years he has tirelessly sought out both new and obscure sounds from around the globe to satisfy his ever-curious and
hungry ear palettes. The result is a vast collection of both digital and vinyl releases, which Ragi replenishes on a constant basis. He is one of the most renowned vinyl diggers around the country, as well as a member of electro-acoustic live duo Tango Remote Control. As a DJ, he is a resident and guest DJ in various Lebanese venues, pubs and clubs including L'Osteria, Skipper Bar, Habana, Colorbar, Colonel, Club Social, Yukunkun Club and Radio Beirut. His DJ sets are both immersive and boundary-pushing. In 2014, Ragi co-founded “Beat, Bass and I Don’t Know Bro”, a collective showcasing new electronic music genres in monthly events.
Ziad Nawfal is a DJ, radio host, music promoter and producer based in Beirut, who has spent the better part of the last 20 years exposing Lebanon and the world to the special local and regional independent music talent on his long-running radio shows ‘Ruptures’ and ‘Décalages’, broadcast from Radio Lebanon 96.2FM.
As a DJ, he started playing music in local Beirut bars in the early 1990s, and has played in some of the capital’s most renowned venues. He is currently a resident DJ in several music venues in Beirut.
In 2009, Nawfal founded independent music label Ruptured with producer Fadi Tabbal (Tunefork Studios). Ruptured focuses on the production of emerging alternative talent from Lebanon and the Middle Eastern region. He also co-manages alternative Lebanese labels Al-Maslakh and Annihaya. Since 2010, he is the managing director of Irtijal, the first and foremost festival for experimental music in Lebanon.