lunedì 27 gennaio 2014

Jawad Nawfal A.K.A. Munma

Photo by Tania Traboulsi

Munma aka Jawad Nawfal is one of the most prolific electronica artists in Lebanon, he undertook audiovisual and film studies at IESAV in Beirut and chose to specialize in sound design. In 2001, Jawad formed Altered Ear, a laboratory of sound research and composition, based on the need to explore and link several means of computer assisted musical writing.

Munma was created by Jawad Nawfal in the aftermath of Israel’s war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006. It explores oriental harmonies and rhythmical patterns, with a strong reliance on sampled traditional musical beds, excerpts from radio speeches and the like, and an overall somber, reflective mood.

Munma has produced three 6-track EPs, entitled 34 Days (2006) Black Tuesday (2007) and Unholy Republic (2008), released on former Lebanese record label Incognito Records.

In 2010, Munma’s 4th record was released, entitled Previews & Premises. The self-produced, self-released album consists of 8 tracks recorded between 2006 and 2010.

In 2011, Munma started collaborating with lebanese writer, poet & rapper Mazen El Sayed aka el Rass . The album entitled “El Rass & Munma: Unveiling The Hidden,” explores the darker sides of rap, and reveals deep electronica and dubstep musical influences.

In 2012, apart from numerous sound designs for documentaries, a fiction short (“A place to go” by Wajdi Elian) and a dance choreography (“Tajwal” by Alexandre Paulikevich), Nawfal started two new music monikers: “Tasjiil Moujahed,” a electro- duo with Berlin-based musician, composer and producer C-drik Fermont; and “Infinite Moment Of Composure,” a noise/electronica duo with Lebanese musician, visual artist and composer Liliane Chlela.

Munma is one of Beirut's first and foremost talents in the field of modern electronica, with a variety of live and studio projects since the early 2000s, including AEX, Ae_Quo, Index/Left and more recently Tasjiil Moujahed & Infinite Moment Of Composure. His DJ sets are the stuff of legend, high-flying, mind-blowing affairs in which he dexterously spins breaks, electro, garage, dubstep and hiphop, as well as his own productions.

In 2013 he released his latest album titled "No Apologies"

Discography :

Munma - 34 days E.P. - Incognito Records (2006)
Munma - black Tuesday E.P. - Incognito Records (2007)
Munma - Unholy Republic E.P. - Incognito Records (2008)
Munma - Previews & Premises - Altered Ear/Ruptured Records (2010)
El Rass & Munma - Unveiling the Hidden - Ruptured Records (2012)
Munma & Liliane Chlela - IMOC/Turbulence - Syrphe Records (2012)
Munma - No Apologies - Syrphe Records (2013)

Munma - 34 days E.P (2006)

34 Days’ is a set of 6 electro-ambient tracks by Jawad Nawfal, featuring minimal beats, ominous vocal samples, and a rich tapestry of interlocking, layered sounds. The album was recorded during Israel’s attacks on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, which explains to some extent the overall sombre and introspective mood of the tracks. At times, ’34 Days’ recalls the ethereal, hushed moods of Warp label artists such as Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin at his ambient best; with an oriental twist, added for good measure.

1. Yaqiin
2. Mind Over Matter
3. 3cc
4. Qana
5. Munma
6. Judas


Munma - Black Tuesday E.P (2007)

Munma return to the studio in 2007 to deliver the 2nd volume of what is rumored to be a trilogy, whose themes hover around the Lebanese-Israeli war of July 2006. The band's familiar layers of synthesized sounds are augmented with a formidable array of processed bleeps and glitches, excerpts from radio speeches and political discourses, as well as expertly diverted samples of traditional Arabic instruments. The only live electronics band of its kind in Lebanon has managed to deliver yet another haunting masterpiece, a record that seems to defy any possible categorization and labeling, posed somewhere between ambient soundscapes, moody electronica, and weary world music.

1. Pluie D'ete
2. Finem respice
3. Ambidextre
4. Dark water
5. IRM
6. Open source

Munma - Unholy Republic E.P (2008)

The third official release by Lebanese electronic artist JAWAD NAWFAL sees him revisiting familiar themes and musical landscapes, while displaying the possibility for some radical departures in the near future. 'UNHOLY REPUBLIC' is the third installment of what is commonly referred to as the "Fate trilogy", one that saw the day in the aftermath of the war waged by Israel on Lebanon in summer 2006. The first two releases, '34 Days' and 'Black Tuesday', were marked by ominous moods and atmospheres, sets of menacing clicks and glitches, which conveyed brilliantly the mind-set and feelings of the artist, regarding the crisis at hand.

'Unholy Republic' picks up where 'Black Tuesday' left, with rambling, brooding tracks haunted by static and radio noise. Reminiscences of Munma's previous releases abound, as well as musical nods to South American Murcof's output. Two collaborations with Nabil Saliba aka Trash Inc, serve as a timely reminder that Jawad Nawfal is equally at ease devising ambient landscapes and dancefloor "stompers". 'Unholy Republic' signals realms of possibilities for Munma's subsequent works.

1 Aegri Smnia
2 Time Collapse
3 Engram
4 Broken Chime
5 Deep Down
6 Exodus

Munma - Previews & Premises (2010)

1 Soft Integration
2 The Alchemist
3  Motion Sickness
4  Ear Damage
5   Explorer
6  Attention Disorder
7  It Came From Under The Sea
8 Munma - Bits and Dust


El Rass & Munma - Unveiling the Hidden/ Kachf el Mahjoub (2012)


Kachf el Mahjoub / Unveiling the hidden is a musical collaboration between lebanese poet and musician Mazen el Sayed, otherwise known as El Rass (The Head), and Lebanese electronica artist Jawad Nawfal aka Munma. El Sayed is a prolific writer and musician, at ease with a variety of instruments, while Nawfal has previously released a number of albums and EPs, exploring downtempo electronica and ambient dubstep. The collision of
harsh beats and brazen, slammed vocals works wonders on Unveiling the Hidden, produced and released by independent Lebanese label Ruptured. Notorious for his masterful flow in the classical Arabic language, quite an uncommon phenomenon in Lebanon's exuberant rap scene, El Rass' lyrics tackle both social and political sensitive subjects. Munma, on the other hand, creates a sound-world perfectly fitting El Rass’ agitated discourse, alternating between broken beats, elaborate percussion, and ambient layers of synths. At times reminiscent of mutant hiphop outfit Shabazz Palaces, at others of the collaboration between dubstep producer Kode9 and vocalist The SpaceApe, this album is an uncanny meeting of Arabic hip-hop and electronica.

1 Fout 3a rassi - Enter the head
2 Tkhayal Conceive
3 Borkan Beirut
4 Rissala / Sub Litteral
5 3echq / Islamology
6 Sanadet / Treasury Bonds
7 Nou7 / The Noah
8 Yoga
9 7issar / Trojan
10 Min Tha2er / Les Justes
11 Majnoun Leila / Mad Is Laila
12 Tkhayal - Conceive (RadioKVM Remix)


الراس ومونما - كشف المحجوب El Rass & Munma - Unveiling the Hidden from dghaily on 8tracks Radio.

Munma - No Apologies (2013)


1 Early Early Morning 
2 Eastern Promises 
3 The Funeral 
4 Mirash 
5 Land Of Debris 
6 Yoga Revisited 
7 Astarté 
8 Gray Scale 
9 Astarté (RadioKvm Remix)
10 The Funeral (Kirdec Remix)  


(Source: Pirate Beirut, Ruptured)

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