In the spirit of all things audio and culture, we’re teaming up with the Red Bull Music Academy to bring to you an absolutely massive weekender. The RBMA crew will be handling the bands on the Friday night and we’ll be putting together our biggest Sound System to date to wrap off the festivities on Saturday. To help get you in the mood, we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a little dossier on the artists who are coming together to make this happen.
For more info check the: Event Page
Beat a fucked up queue by getting your tickets on Presella
Daddy G (Massive Attack)
One half of Massive Attack and pretty much the godfather of Bristol Bass, Grant Marshall aka Daddy G is a man that knows a little something about Sound Systems. Founder of the notorious Wild Bunch Sound System, Daddy G has been evangelizing Bristol sound for over thirty years now. A true Sound System man, his DJ sets have become legendary not only on account of his technical abilities and selection, but largely for his ability to pick up the mic and get the crowd moving. Daddy G is one of the originals and we’re pretty delighted to welcome him back to Beirut.
Sounds Like: Splif
Nickodemus (Turntables on the Hudson)
Nickodemus is a kind of one man travelling circus. The man has been spinning tunes across the world since sometime around 1996 and shows no signs of slowing down. Founder of the legendary Turntables on the Hudson, Nicko has gone on to put out two albums and seen everyone from iTunes to True Blood try to get a piece of his beats. We’re bringing him back to Beirut solely based on proof that when Nickodemus is on the decks, the place goes off.
Sounds Like: The world under one roof raving
Charlie B. Wilder aka Captain Planet began DJing on a Tascam 4-track in his teens. That’s one for the purists. He quickly developed an obsession for all things vinyl and an affinity for the sampler. From reggae to African and Latin music, Captain Planet searches crates across the world in order to construct his signature “Gumbo Funk” sound. And it’s not one that has gone unnoticed. Planet has been remixed by the likes of Little Dragon, Erykah Badu, Katy B, Mia Doi Todd and Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura Project.
Sounds Like: An Airport Terminal
We’ve had the inside scoop on ADHD coverboy ETYEN since pretty much day one. This has more to do with the fact that he used to share a flat with our editor-in-chief than any kind of hard cutting music journalism, but we will take the credit none the less. He’s another artist we had lined up for that rained-out show, although he did get his chance when he opened up for Matthias Tanzmann late last year, and was kind enough to lend us some killer tunes for our tiny launch video. Blending elements of glitch, IDM, dub and even some trap oddities, ETYEN has constantly been expanding his sound since his first demos started to emerge. That means you never quite know what you’re going to get when seeing him live and that’s something we’re all about.
Sounds Like: A serious need for Ridalin
Parallel Sound System
Dream popper Parallel Sound System are a 3 piece outfit based in Dubai. The band made waves when they dropped their self titled EP about 10 months ago, and it’s been in heavy rotation around the AK office ever since. We’re big on the band’s blend of a lo-fi aesthetic and lead singer Christianne Alvarez’s sultry vocals. Their live show is a spellbound mix of spacey synths, well dug samples and an equally vivid barrage of visual madness. In a scene of horrible 80s cover bands and a bunch of rockers holding on to the dream, Parallel Sound System represents one of the Emirates finest exports.
Sounds Like: Your last wet dream
Hailing from Amman, Zaed Naes is a mean three piece that combines elements of post rock, jazz, funk, electronica and a bunch of other shit that you’ve probably liked on Facebook, but never really listened to. They dropped a seven track EP early this year and we like to play it at the office when we want to feel really smart. In an era of four-to-the-flour bangers, methodic pop anthems and some generally really shit music, Zaed Naes is on a different pitch. Unconcerned with trends, the Jordanian outfit make music that is on a different tip. Whether you appreciate that that tip is neither here nor there, their endeavour and work ethic definitely warrants the utmost respect.
Sounds Like: Intelligence
The Wanton Bishops
The Wanton Bishops have spent the last few years becoming a bit of a Beirut household name. We, of course, hosted their last bender of a concert and it was a right stomper. From special guests to bedouin grooves and a shit ton of whisky, Eddy Ghossein and Nader Mansour like to make a fair bit of noise. The blues revivalist might seem out of place in Beirut, but these two don’t really tend to give a shit. In fact, they pretty much wear it like a badge of honor chalking up their influences to “mostly inevitably clichéd stuff. Things like; love and the lack of it, money and the lack of it, or even loneliness and the abundance of it!”. We can get down with that.
Sounds Like: Whisky soaked, foot stomping, blues revival
Zahed Sultan first came to our attention about a year ago when one of our writers, Jackson Allers aka Brother Jackson aka Backstage Jackson, forced fed him on us. We finally took the bait and Zahed has been part of the AK family ever since. He’s featured on the pages of this magazine, we brought him out here for our launch party (which rain, eventually, got the better of) and we even went out to Kuwait in January for the Kuwait Rising event he organised with the Red Bull Music Academy. Now, after some prolonged foreplay, he’ll finally get his chance to leave his mark on Beirut. His live show is an experience to say the least. Combining electronics, live instrumentation and mind bending visuals, we reckon you’ll get as hung up on him as we have.
Sounds Like: The future, past and everything in between
Created by cousins Marwan Tohme and Pascal Semerdjian in 2012, the Beirut based quartet Postcards has been making quite a bit of noise as of late. Apparently they got their name from the Beirut song “Postcards From Italy” (That’s pretty meta right?) and take their cues from artists such as Mumford and Sons, Angus & Julia Stone and Fleet Foxes. Lead singer Julia Sabra has got the quintessential indie-folk voice and the rest of the band isn’t too shabby either. I sat down to write this next to my girlfriend’s flatmate while we were watching the football. To get into the mood, I put on one of the band’s latest singles, “Where the Wild Ones”, to which he looked up from his phone and asked “who’s that?” “Postcards”, I responded. He shook his head, looked back at his phone and muttered, “shit, they’re actually, like, pretty good. Like they sound British or something.” I think I’ll just leave you with that.
Sounds Like: The soundtrack to your favourite indie movie.