sabato 26 settembre 2015

Arab tunes mixtape # 29 - Lebanese Rap, My favorite things.

 Portrait of Ali by   Yazan Halwani 

A handful of Lebanese rap songs made over the past five years. Different topics, different settings. Not necessarily the most popular songs but the songs that I prefer.
  linguistic virtuosity of El Rass and the vehemence of L' Hamorabi, the creative flair of Edd and the political message of Katibe 5, the spirituality of Bu Kukthoum, Syrian-born immigrated to Lebanon because of the war.

Dedicated to Fernanda, young Italian Arabist . Her brilliant research work opens up new worlds.

Play it loud !!!!

01 El Rass - Fatiha 
02 Fareeq el Atrash - Sualu jimly
03 Qawa3id Ishtibak  -  No2tit Ikhtilaf
04 Bill Amaliyeh feat Edd Abbas  - Rekib Sha2leh 
05 Naserdayn al Touffar - Yabi 
06 DJ Lethal Skillz Feat Yaseen & Edd    - 3aks el 3alam 
07 El Rass & Munma  - Yoga
08 Tripnol Feat  Qarar & Johnny Headbusta  -   Moul7ak
09 Clotaire k  Feat Natacha Atlas  - Maqam
10 Edd Abbas - Hejra 
11  Fahrass  -  Thouray
12 El Rass & Munma - Storm in a Teacup
13  Katibe 5 - Ento ghnito
14  L'hamorabi 13th Imam  - Hassan El Sabbah
15 Edd Abbas & Qarar - Tasfiyet
16 El Rass & El Mahdy - Lampedusa
17 Fareeq el Atrash - Tzakkar Hal Iyyem
18 Bu Kolthoum -  Hadra 3 ( Aman Dha'ary
19 Ga'far Al Touffar - Risala min al Habs
20 Edd Abbas - Dawa3esh Jawa7esh


martedì 22 settembre 2015

Al Nather النّاظر

Al Nather, (Mohammad Masrouji), is a flautist, percussionist, vocalist and producer based in Ramallah. As a producer, Al Nather focuses on sampling but his occasional completely original works of art are not found lacking. He constitutes a part of a hip hop crew based also in Ramallah called Saleb 1. He has produced for many artists including Edd Abbas who is part of Fareeq el Atrache (Lebanon), El Rass (Lebanon), Abyusif (Egypt) and Bu Kulthoum (Syria). His influences range from classical Arabic music to extremely experimental works.

At the beginning of 2015 he has produced an EP consists of only instrumental pieces entitled: " Razz 'al Ghazz". 

The album was inspired by events that happened in the summer of 2014 .

He recently worked as  producer to the realization of the first solo album of Bu
Kulthoum  , Syrian rapper, titled "Inderal".

Mohammad Masrouji ,in arte Al Nather , è un flautista, percussionista, cantante e produttore con sede a Ramallah. Come produttore il lavoro pricipale di Al Nather è indirizzato verso l'arte del campionamento ma non disdegna la creazione di composizioni originali. Esponente di primo piano di quella nuova generazione di artisti palestinesi che da alcuni anni sta rivoluzionando il concetto di rap, è membro attivo di "Al Saleb ", crew hip hop di base a a Ramallah . Ha prodotto brani per molti rappers  della scena mediorientale , tra cui Edd Abbas, (Cantante del gruppo libanese Fareeq el Atrache) , El Rass (Libano), Abyusif (Egitto) e Bu Kulthoum (Siria). Le sue influenze coprono una vasta area e spaziano dalla musica classica araba alle opere di autori di avanguardia .

All'inizio del 2015 ha prodotto un EP è composto di soli brani strumentali dal titolo: "Razz 'al Ghazz".
L'album, secondo le sue parole , è stato ispirato dagli eventi accaduti durante l'estate del 2014.

Recentemente ha lavorato come produttore alla realizzazione del primo album solista di Bu Kulthoum , rapper siriano,  intitolato "Inderal".

Al- Nather النّاظر - Razz 'al Ghazz

01 Awwalan اولا
02 Mumken ممكن
03 Thaniyan ثانيا
04 Mazaji مزاجي
05 Thalithan ثالثا


Al- Nather النّاظر - Instrumental works

01 Ufft   افت
02 Ru'ab رعبة
03 Roz Azon 
04 -2 
05 Mashaweer
06 Haja حاجة  
07  Araq  أرق 
08  Red أحمر 
09  Ishar إشعار
10  Sada Doui   صدى ضوئي
11 Fyah Dan  فيَضان
12 Bateekh  بطيخ
13 Hodou Nisbi  هدوء نسبي 


Al- Nather النّاظر - Productions & collaborations


01 Wai Mustajal وعي مستعجل - Bu Kolthoum Prod. Al Nather
02 Meen Al Tali مين التالي - Riyadiyat & Al Nather

03 Maqsoora [Improv Session] - Mothanna, Muqataa & Al Nather
04 Maqsood Lisnare - Muqataa, Riyadiyat , Khotta Ba. Prod. Al Nather
05 Illet Tanzeer قلة تنظير - Al Nather
06 Bi akhir qussa بآخر القصة - El Rass & Al Nather
07 Haraq hala حرق حاله - El Rass & Al Nather

08 ط = ك.س² - Dakn prod. al Nather
09 Faraq Sinanak فرق سنانك - Haykal,Dakn & Bu Kulthoum Prod . Al Nather

10 Ardy Shauky ارضي شوكي - Al Montej , Muqataa & Al Nather
11 Malakom - Ill Paz (Al Nather Remix)


sabato 12 settembre 2015

Mashrou’ Leila مشروع ليلى

Mashrou’ Leila (Arabic: مشروع ليلى‎ , sometimes transliterated as Mashrou3 Leila or Leila's Project) is a Lebanese five-member alternative rock band. The band formed in Beirut,Lebanon in 2008 as a music workshop at the American University of Beirut. The band has released three studio albums, Mashrou' Leila (2008), El Hal Romancy (2011), an EP, and Raasük (2013) while causing many controversies due to their satirical lyrics and themes.

The band was formed in February 2008 at the American University of Beirut, when violinist Haig Papazian,guitarist Andre Chedid, and pianist Omaya Malaeb posted an open invitation to musicians looking to jam to vent the stress caused by college and the unstable political situation. Out of the dozen of people who answered the call, seven would remain to form Mashrou' Leila.  Band members were encouraged by friends to perform in front of a live crowd; they put on a show as the opening act for a concert on the AUB campus. During the event, Mashrou' Leila proved to be the only band that composed and performed their original compositions. The band continued to play small venues and gain ground on the underground music circuit  until they emerged onto the indy music scene during the Lebanese 2008 "Fête de la Musique" event (the yearly Music festival held by the Beirut municipality) sparking controversy for their unabashed and critical lyrics on Lebanese society, failed love, sexuality and politics.

In 2009, Mashrou’ Leila participated at Radio Liban's 'Modern Music Contest' held at Basement (club) winning both the jury and popular awards in part due to their breakthrough single "Raksit Leila" (Leila's dance). The first prize was a record deal.Mashrou' Leila’s self-titled debut album produced by B-root Productions was released in December 2009 at a steel factory in Bourj Hammoud (a suburb of Beirut) where an unprecedented number attendees crowded the factory yard.  The gig turned out to be Beirut 's biggest non-mainstream event in recent years and has been a big hit among Indie and Rock fans in Lebanon. Shortly after the release of their first album, the band burst into the spotlight of the Lebanese music mainstream when they were announced to be headlining the Byblos International Festival on July 9, 2010. The concert was one of the most anticipated events of the summer and was attended by scores of fans as well as the Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri.

In 2011, Mashrou' Leila released the 'El Hal Romancy' EP, a recording the band describes as "tackling lyrically more intimate, personal, and theatrical subject matter that is less about the city and its politics proper, and more about the social residue of the city'. This is a collection of songs that happen in a weathered bedroom with ruffled bed sheets, stained carpeting, and a book shelf of references, while a string section plays on a rusty vinyl player to a couple of young lovers trying to survive the city".  One week before the release concert in Beirut Hippodrome, Mashrou' Leila announced that the album was available for free download on the band's website.

In 2012, the band headlined Baalbeck International Festival.The concert was filmed and released as a live concert.

Mashrou' Leila's anticipated 3rd release Rassuk was recorded at the Hotel 2 Tango in Montreal. Described as 'an arresting, heady mixture of retro-Beirut music – the signature sound being Haig Papazian's razor-sharp violin. The album was released in August 2013.  The video of the lead single Lil Watan ("for the nation") was awarded the gold prize at the Dubai Lynx 2015 festival. To promote the album, the band managed to crowd fund over 60,000$; an unprecedented feat for a middle east art project.  On April 6, Mashrou' Leila became the first Middle Eastern artist to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

On the 25th of November 2013, Mashrou' Leila played the Red Bull Soundclash with Who Killed Bruce Lee in the Forum de Beyrouth.

On the 17th of March 2015, Mashrou' Leila released a new song with a music video called "3 Minutes" on Youtube

Mashrou' Leila's members enjoy the wordplay and ambiguity surrounding their band's name. In English, the name can be interpreted as either “One Night Project” or “Leila’s Project”; Leila being a very common given name in Lebanon. When asked during an early interview about the origin of the nameMashrou' Leila, band members teasingly retorted that the band is a project started to collect money for a girl they knew called Leila . According to the band’s official Facebook page, Mashrou’ Leila means “An Overnight Project”, named for the nocturnal nature of the project characterized by all-night jam sessions.

Current members

Hamed Sinno  as the lead vocalist.
Haig Papazian on the violin
Carl Gerges on drums
Ibrahim Badr on bass guitar
Firas Abu-Fakher on guitar 

Former members

Omaya Malaeb on keyboards
Andre Chedid on guitars

Mashrou’ Leila's entertaining themes and satirical Lebanese lyrics reflect the many faces and flaws of Lebanese society which are not addressed by mainstream Arabic music. The band is critical of the problems associated with life in Beirut and they are known for their liberal use of swear-words in some of their songs.  Their debut album's 9 songs wittily discuss subject matters such as lost love, war, politics, security and political assassination, materialism, immigration and homosexuality. "Latlit" one of the Mashrou' Leila album tracks is a caricature of the Lebanese society overridden by gossip. "Shem-el Yasmine" (literally Smell the jasmine), a song reminiscent of Jay Brannan's "Housewife" was described as an ode to tolerance for same-sex love where a young man wants to introduce his bride to his parents but the bride turns out to be a groom.  "Fasateen" (literally meaning "dresses") is a ballad that tackles the issue of marriage. The song's music video shows the band members deconstructing nuptial symbols and defying the pressure of romantic relationships. Some of the distinctive features of the band's music is the prominence of the violin in passages redolent of Armenian folk music and the use of a megaphone in some songs to alter frontman Hamed Sinno's voice.

After syncing for a while, the public started to dissect the band, member by member. Hamed got his first solo magazine cover in 2012 when he fronted the December issue of the 1st LGBTQI magazine the MENA region, My.Kali magazine. A year after, Haig fronted the same publication for the same month, landing his first cover in 2013. Carl Gerges landed his first solo cover on the November issue of L'Officiel Hommes-Levant, 2012.

(Source : Wikipedia)

Da tre anni un gruppo indie-rock libanese domina la scena musicale del Medio Oriente e del Nordafrica. I suoi musicisti hanno meno di trent’anni e sono solo la punta dell’iceberg di una scena artistica e culturale che in Libano non ha mai smesso di vibrare. Sono i Mashrou’ Leila, che in arabo vuol dire progetto notturno o progetto di Leila, visto che “leila” non è solo un nome ma significa anche notte.

Haig, Hamed, Ibrahim, Firas e Carl si sono conosciuti nel 2008 alla facoltà di architettura della American University di Beirut, dopo aver partecipato a un workshop musicale che doveva servire come valvola di sfogo rispetto alla situazione politica libanese. Da allora i cinque hanno cominciato a esibirsi a Beirut e sono diventati uno dei punti di riferimento del panorama musicale alternativo nazionale, suscitando polemiche per i loro testi provocatori e critici, in cui affrontano i problemi della società libanese, gli amori falliti e le difficoltà di una generazione stretta tra la voglia di creare e vivere e i confini stabiliti dalla politica e dalla morale religiosa.

Cantando in arabo-libanese, raccontano di immigrazione e politica, della difficoltà di avere vent’anni, di crescere in una città come Beirut ancora segnata dalla guerra civile. Cantano di quanto sia difficile, in Libano, amarsi se si appartiene a confessioni religiose diverse, come nella malinconica Fasateen (Vestiti), o di quanto faccia male l’amore quando lo si perde, come nella struggente ballata Shim el-yasmine (Odora il gelsomino), che racconta di un amore omosessuale.

I testi dell’ultimo album sono più intimisti, ma non risparmiano critiche alla società libanese e, in generale, a una società contemporanea che spezza i sogni dei suoi giovani: “Digli che siamo ancora qui in piedi, digli che stiamo resistendo / Digli che abbiamo ancora occhi per vedere, digli che non abbiamo fame”, cantano in Wa nueid (Noi andiamo avanti). Mentre nel video di Lil Watan (Per la nazione) si prendono gioco della musica tradizionale araba – impersonata da una ballerina di danza del ventre – che con la sua onnipresenza non dà spazio ai musicisti indipendenti.

I loro arrangiamenti sono eclettici come la loro Beirut e mescolano stili e influenze diverse. Tra jazz, elettro-pop, rock e tarab c’è spazio per i virtuosismi del violino e i riff della chitarra elettrica, in un mix orecchiabile e accattivante. La voce di Hamed Sinno, il cui stile è stato paragonato a quello di Freddie Mercury, è potente e profonda. Il cantante qualche anno fa ha fatto coming out in un paese in cui l’omosessualità è un tabù sociale e questo ha attirato sul gruppo le critiche degli ambienti conservatori: lo scorso agosto, alcuni abitanti della cittadina di Zouk Mikail, vicino Beirut, che ospita un festival musicale, hanno protestato contro il concerto della band in programma. Ma i fan dei Mashrou’ Leila hanno reagito con una campagna di sostegno sui social media.

Nel 2011 i Mashrou’ Leila hanno ottenuto il successo internazionale: i loro concerti sono sempre sold out a Dubai e al Cairo. Hanno suonato al Festival internazionale di Baalbek in Libano, poi ad Amman, Tunisi, Casablanca, Istanbul. Hanno fan in Palestina, Russia e Israele. Da circa due anni sono ininterrottamente in tour in Nordafrica, Medio Oriente ed Europa. I loro concerti fanno il tutto esaurito anche a Parigi e Londra. L’anno scorso, sono stati tre volte in Italia: a Firenze, ospiti del Middle East now festival, poi a Parma, Mestre e Milano e infine a Napoli, dove hanno chiuso il Forum internazionale delle culture.

Fieri di essere indipendenti, per realizzare il loro terzo album, Raasuk, hanno usato il crowdfunding, con l’hashtag #occupyarabpop. I loro fan, con cui hanno un rapporto diretto tramite i social network, sono stati anche coinvolti nel processo di scrittura della prima canzone del prossimo album, che uscirà nel 2016.

Rifiutano l’etichetta di “colonna sonora della primavera araba” che gli è stata affibbiata dalla stampa occidentale. Loro, dicono, non vogliono né possono essere gli interpreti di quella stagione di rivolte. Sono prima di tutto musicisti. E amano fare puro e semplice pop.

Articolo di Chiara Comito, arabista.  (


Mashrou’ Leila مشروع ليلى 2009

01 Fasateen   فساتين
02 Obwa   عبوة
03 Min al Taboor   من الطابور
04 ‘Al Hajez   عالحاجز
05 Shim el Yasmine  شم الياسمين
06 Im-Bim-billilah   إم بم بلي لح
07 Latlit   لتلت
08 Khaleeha Zikra   خليها ذكرى
09 Raksit Leila   رقصة ليلى



Mashrou’ Leila  مشروع ليلى    – El Hal Romancy EP   الحل رومانسي

01 El Mouqadima   المقدمة
02 Habibi   حبيبي
03 Inni Mneeh   إنّي منيح
04 Imm El Jacket   إم الجاكيت
05 Wajih   وجيه
06 El Hal Romancy   الحلّ رومانسي


Mashrou’ Leila    مشروع ليلى    -   Raasuk رقصوك



01 Prologue
02 Abdo
03 Ala Babu
04 Taxi
05 Skandar Maalouf
06 Lil Watan
07 Bishuf
08 Ma Tetrikini Heik
09 Raasuk
10 Wa Nueid
11 Bahr


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