Under Frustration - Volume 2 (various artists)

13 September 2019 • Vinyl & digital • Shouka/InFiné • Buy/download
The “Under Frustration” project takes stock of the contemporary Arab electronic scene, and highlights its astonishing diversity, by deconstructing Western clichés that are still fantasizing about a culturally homogenous Arab world. In a context of post-revolutionary disillusion, this ambitious trilogy sets itself as a manifesto of a new, futuristic, underground wave that aims to uplift the Arab voice, once again.


    With this new release, Arabstazy allows the listener to walk among Shiite, Shaabi or Stambali lands - revealing new mystical sounds, reserved for trance ceremonies and ancestral rituals; all vivid in the eyes of the collective members, musicians, producers, videographers and photographers, nowadays, scattered between the United States, Tunisia, Germany, France, Sweden, Irak, Lebanon and Poland.

    By standing for what they believe, they push boundaries in creating a new wave of North African and Middle Eastern Futurism: ‘Assuming that our mosaic identity, plunges our roots into the future, highlighting the traditions of the countries from which we come from with the desire to reinterpret them. To create a new artistic language, free of its Orientalist and colonialist prejudices…’

    ‘Stazy is short for ecstasy.’ says Mettani, founder of the Arabstazy Collective. ‘We are not police of anybody, nor of any group. The music does not belong to anyone.’ Their history is complex and impenetrable, with ramifications that stretch far beyond from the Sub-Saharan Africa. He sees ‘the collective as a medium to keep questioning the meaning and the relevance of the supposed Arab unity, by exploring and facing the way the Arab world is perceived, but also how it perceives itself, perceives the others and perceives its own perception of itself.’

    This Vol.2 sees the musical eclecticism of Saint Abdullah, Dj Haram. Khan El Rouh, Okydoky, Hello Psychaleppo, Rafael Aragon & Stas, Nazal. Adam Jawad, Praed, and Miss Machine - all combining profound personal sounds that establish a new language of a nouvelle vague of the Arab underground futurism. A lot of the artists featured are in exile in countries that have adopted them and shape their music consciousness as Saint Abdullah from Iran to Brooklyn; Khan El Rou from Syria to Sweden; Hello Psychaleppo that moved to Minnesota; and Nazal that left Tunisia for Poland and then France.

    These influences are extremely poignant in their music productions that are deeply determined from almost a globalized approach that mixes their heritage to a new technological observat view of what music can achieve nowadays. Some tracks are driven by extreme strength and power which is a product of the Arab fire that brought back the concept of revolution as an existential meaningful way of living. Arabstazy owns the unique ability to shift the revolution from an image on the streets into sounds that are captivating, rare, vigorous and hypnotic.

    Dj Haram with her track Overeager blends ancestral rhythms to a new young approach, a new rhythm that defines a younger generation of young producer that embrace their culture and heritage in unique ways.  Saint Abdullah with his track Zeynab, for example also, exhilarates sounds and landscape with the combination of vocals and beats that recall almost lost animal melodies that speak directly to our bodies and its movements. Hello Psychaleppo with 100=1, also, combines Arabic music theory and rhythms with electronic music tools and vocals creating a harmonious blend that is Electro-Tarab, a unique genre in which he is a unique pioneer.

    Arabstazy, once again, owns and proves us its unique intelligence to understand that our own cultural musical heritage is the key to process and understand our world. And this is important because we stand in a world in which the creative gesture is regularly constrained. Constrained by dictatorship - political, social or religious.

    Constraint as a thread, stretched between different artists who cross, each one in their own way, the creative frustration.