INTERVIEW #033 / NUR JABER [OSF, STAUB]
Lebanese artist Nur Jaber answered our paradoxical questions and here’s what it sounds like…
Hi Nur, we are very pleased to host you in our project specially being the first middle-eastern artist… We’ve always been curious about the electronic scene in the middle-east… I know there is a very edgy experimental/noise scene, with guys like Munma and El Rass. But how about the Techno scene?
There isn’t really a techno scene in Beirut, as far as I know, it has not been introduced there just yet. The people who play and listen to techno are few and there are no proper techno parties unless you meet up at a friend’s bedroom with proper sound acoustics and equipment to jam around for fun. There are some really talented bedroom producers & djs no doubt and it’s time we do something about that..
There’s a strong rock & metal scene though. I would know that because it was much simpler to fit in when I first started learning the drums and bass guitar. It was really easy to find concerts, music shops and people who shared the same interest.
We noticed that the alternative scenes are more prolific in countries that are experiencing hard socio-economical or political situations. How far do you think Lebanon is concerned by that statement?
The metal and rock scene is really strong in Lebanon. Artists express their anger and sadness towards the momentary and ongoing political situation through the music they write. You get the chance to listen to their story almost every week in small hidden smokey bars.
You run a label called OSF, for “On s’en fout” records, which can be translated into “we don’t care”. What meaning you wanted to express by choosing this name ?
OSF is a collaboration between Exocet and I. Exocet is a 3D fashion brand run by my sister. We share the same passion for art & music and growing up we were both faced with the same limitations and fear of uncertainty.
OSF is a community which creates visuals & sound that turn dark matter into light and it will keep moving forward regardless of the situation at home.
You’re now based in Berlin and being part of the Staub collective, setting up parties mainly at the About blank. How did you get involved in that collective and what are the main ideas and artistic values that drive the project ?
That’s actually a funny story. It was around April last year when I sent over a podcast of mine to one of the promoters. She told me to drop by the party and say hello. When I got there to introduce myself she didn’t know what I was talking about. Later on that evening she sent me a text saying that she thought I was a male from the music I sent her haha. Anyway I got a gig after that, fell straight in love and on the 2nd one we both just knew that it felt right.
The Staub collective is unique in its way for bringing people together for music, for love and for celebrating life together. Time and lineups are non existent.
What do you find attractive in the darkest side of Techno?
That no matter what background, history or state one is in, the crowd is all there for one thing; it is to find love and acceptance for those few hours and it is up to the artist to take them on that journey.
Let’s speak a bit about your influences. What would be the 5 techno tracks that have inspired you the most?
Darren Price – Blueprints
Jeff Mills – Casa
Damon Wild & Tim Taylor – Bang The Acid
Industrial Bass Machine – The Voice of World Control
Inigo Kennedy – Lullaby
Same question with non-electronic tracks? And Middle-eastern music?
I would say everything from Mozart, might sound weird but he is my greatest inspiration since I was a child, specially ‘Requiem Mass’ from him.
Middle eastern music would be songs by Fairouz, specially ‘Li Beirut’ (means For Beirut) and Om Kolthoum ‘Enta Omri’ (You’re my life).
What can we expect from you and OSF in the near future?
Two releases are coming out soon. One VA release and one from myself which I am really excited about. We also have been working on our first techno club in Beirut, which will be opening its gates in May with Dax J as our first guest. Pretty nervous about people’s reaction to be honest! The club will host 4 nights per year and is limited to 200 dancers. There is also a collaboration with Samsara sessions which will host a special exhibition with artists of all kinds, having Beirut as its main focus, along with live electronic music taking place in Berlin.
Big thanks for your collaboration… See you around
Thanks for having me! happy to contribute :)
Much love & light.