I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to review this one. I felt so passive about it… But still, there were some new experiences:
-Before the Show: The main reason I was going was for saxophonist, Stephane Rives and DJ, Ernesto’s performance for saxophone and turntables. The theme of the night was “funk”.
I arrived and paid the reasonable fee of 10,000 L.L. Outside I had a chance encounter with the improvisor Raed Yassine, which was neat because I learned where the releases of his improvised music record label “Annihaya” are available (Music Now, Makdessi Street, Hamra, just ask and Youssef will hook ya up😉 ).
I entered and found Chyno and John of Fareeq el Atrash chillin. The place was almost empty, just a couple of people there. I found out that they would be playing in a project I was not that much interested in called The Mudbone which would supposedly fuse hip hop with drum n bass. Thus, I decided to stay longer in order to check that out.
-The Show: So when I heard “saxophone and turntables”, I was expecting, “jazz and turntablism”, ya know? Well, boy was I in for a surprise.
Stephane Rives was seated at a table with a laptop and a saxophone in his lap, while Ernesto behind two or three turntables.
What followed was basically 30 or so minutes of Stephane blowing into his sax playing a single high pitch note, occasionally fiddling with his laptop creating clicks and hisses, while Ernesto played some vinyls of animal sounds, African chanting, and classical music, slowing them down and speeding them up manually. Accompanying this was THE BEST VJ’ING I HAVE EVER SEEN, done by Nadim Saoma (excellent job). This sort of completed my “Improv-Trilogy”. I had seen the three main kinds of improvised music: Acoustic (Sharif Sehnaoui), Electric (Scrambled Eggs), and Electronic/ Artificial (anything made by synths, computer programs, and turntables, though turntables are more physical than the other two)
Following that, one hour DJ set by DJ Heavy G. Funky funky shit…
After that, The Mudbone went on. John Imad Nasr was on bass as usual, Marcel Chalhoub on electronic drums, and Jeremy Chapman on saxophone. Also, Chyno added freestyle rap verses every now and then. Marcel played some Latin percussion with a constant pounding bass drum accompanying. John joined in on bass, and Jeremy jammed along. It was all very on-the-spot sort of. Chyno would pick a phrase and repeat it over and over again. It was all too close to mainstream house music for me honestly. And then there’s the saxophone; oh the saxophone. Let me go on the record now for what I will say: The saxophone is an extremely controversial instrument to me. With it, the line between awesome and cheesy is EASILY crossed, one wrong note, and bam! Corniness… I left after three “jams”, though I heard that after that it got more hip hoppy, with Edd Abbas taking charge of the mic.
-After the Show: I went back home and gave my mama a hug…