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donderdag, april 19, 2007

Al Maslakh Records : Improv and Experimental Music - Beirut, Lebanon 

Al Maslakh and the unpublishable Lebanese artistic scene

Back in 2000, after 15 years of civil war and a decade of post war rehabilitation, the situation of alternative art and especially music was very poor in Lebanon. From Arabic pop songs to hard rock bands, passing by new age and techno beats, everything you could hear in Beirut was most likely a bad “arabised” copy of old or new western musical fashions. The jazz scene for instance was – and arguably still is – mostly interested in playing standards, be-bop or fusion.

Things began to change around 2000 with the arrival of a new generation of musicians, born at the beginning and during the war, more interested in experimental art forms than in fame and glory.
After a couple of gigs in Beirut, three musicians formed MILL, an association to promote and develop the practice of free improvised music in Lebanon. MILL became in 6 years the reference for the avant-garde musical scene both as an exchange platform for different Lebanese musicians coming from improv, free jazz, contemporary composition, noise music and alternative rock, and as the organizer of IRTIJAL, the first and biggest festival for experimental music in the Middle-East and the Arabic region.

The idea to create a recording label in order to document the nascent scene existed ever since the scene itself was born. However, it took 5 years to become a reality. In 2005 the name Al Maslakh (The Slaughterhouse in arabic) was chosen – for reasons that we let you figure out – and the label launched with two first records.
Our constantly growing catalog - publishing exclusively projects involving Lebanese musicians or projects of international musicians recorded in Lebanon – offers with each new release a different and unique musical / sound experience.

Al Maslakh Records : Improv and Experimental Music - Beirut, Lebanon


Peter Brötzmann

Mazen Kerbaj

Christine Sehnaoui

Sharif Sehnaoui


Ingar Zach

Michael Zerang



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