we have been absent for a while, launching the first issue of the MUSIC fanzine, in Beirut.
The party took place at Torino Express, a small bar located in one of the last traditional neighborhoods of the city. Faces were marked with the bar's signature red neon light and Charbel Haber, the guest of the first issue played records that included Cabaret Voltaire, Nirvana and My Bloody Valentine. 

Currently working on issue 2 with Ziad Nawfal, radio host, DJ, concert organizer, music producer, and one of the main faces of Beirut's music scene today. We already have many ideas, but as usual they will evolve and shape up as we unveil Nawfal's relationship with music.




Heat is a sensation induced by many things, such as dancing under a rain of bombs. Legend says that Lebanese people did so during the devastating civil war that disfigured their country. 
The soundtrack to these macabre discos remain uncertain, but music astronauts found a 12" on the milky way, floating somewhere near Donna Summer (you all know the woman found inspiration masturbating in outer space).
Elias Rahbani and his Orchestra released a disco record catchier than any Claude François hit single or any Moroder production. 
Heat is a sensation induced by watching the sleeve of that record, the perfect physique of that woman who seems to be coming straight out of any 70's erotic flick, her name was probably Liza, and as the song suggests, she may have been prone to Sapphic love.
One could believe that a middle eastern country were not exposed to western music at the time, error. Iran was very avant garde in the late 60's all through the 70's, and so was Lebanon. 
Here are two tracks MUSIC selected from this rare master piece of middle-eastern music, space psych and flamboyant disco:

We Come From the Moon - Elias Rahbani and his Orchestra

Liza...Liza - Elias Rahbani and his Orchestra



They come second best in choosing the perfect band name in the nineties, the perfect being Hole, at least in the city of Olympia. 
Beat Happening delivered five perfect albums from the mid-eighties to 1992, five raw, yet childish pieces of art in the sonic world of lo-fi.
The band has a very distinctive sound, due to the thrift-store guitar and maracas, the heavy repetitive drum action, as well as the deep, droning baryton voice of Calvin Johnson, Sub Pop fanzine then record label creator. 
Their last album, You Turn Me On (1992, K/Sub Pop records) is probably their most felicitous, mixing their debut's raw energy as the hit in the head song Teenage Caveman with far more elaborate material such as the 9 minute-long Godsend or the aerial Sleepyhead (a personal favorite) both sung by Heather Lewis, featuring multitrack recording, which is at odds with their usual style, though it is pure bliss. 

Teenage Caveman - Beat Happening

Godsend - Beat Happening

Sleepyhead - Beat Happening

in Beirut, a band was born a few years ago: The Incompetents, their debut was highly influenced by Beat Happening, mostly due to Serge Yared's voice, resembling Calvin Johnson's. You can listen to them them here



Corsican singer Alizée released Moi...Lolita in the early 00's, the song was produced by gay icon Mylène Farmer and the man that discovered her: Laurent Boutonnat, who is also the producer of Mylène's first and only good song: Maman a tort. The Moi...Lolita single was a success, thus, topped the European charts for months.

this has-been disco extended play from the post euro trash era is a jewel, the candid yet provocative lyrics, altogether with the 90's house synths and violins make make it a number one in the long list of MUSIC's guilty pleasures. It was featured on the UK and Germany Maxi, and costs about 150 euros on discogs. 

Moi...Lolita (Lola extended version) - Alizée



Yesterday afternoon, the record shopkeeper handed me a cardboard box, the size of a 12" record sleeve, with a look on his face implying that he knows. he knows. he knows about MUSIC's unconditional love for The Smiths and wanted me to listen to this little gem he received in the morning. 
Browsing through the colorful sleeves as if nothing had happened, I eagerly wait for the turntable to be free. 
Inside the cardboard boy was a black and white 12" cover of The Smiths's (as I predicted) I Started Something I couldn't Finish, which is not the interesting part, so I flip the record and past Pretty Girls Make Graves is a superb version of Some Girls are Bigger then Others, recorded live in London in '86. Apparently it was the only time this song was performed. I thank the guy behind the counter and pay for the music. leave.
This take on the song is mellower, almost bossa, and sounds like a Cherry Red Record production of that era, and it is way superior to the recorded version on The Queen is Dead. 

Some Girls are Bigger than Others (live '86) - The Smiths



Colin Blunstone is best known for his work with baroque pop band The Zombies, his plaintive voice is mostly what made She's Not There their hit single in the UK back in the sixties. 

After a few releases as a solo artist, singer-songwriter Blunstone signed a masterpiece that could be Nico's Chelsea Girl's younger sister. One Year, his 1971 record reminds us very much of Cale's production for Nico, with a tinge of what a joyful Scott Walker could do. Both singles released entered the UK top 20

This forgotten gem of the early seventies is real transvestite, cross dressing between sixties pop and chamber folk music, it features a song written by Tim Hardins, who collaborated with Nico 4 years earlier, as well as compositions by some of his former bandmates from The Zombies. It was re-edited in the early 2000's by Sony Music

Say You Don't Mind - Colin Blunstone 

She Loves the Way They Love Her - Colin Blunstone



in a garden in the House of Love, one can be intrigued by guitar-shaped flowers and butterflies with wings made of Chameleons and Echo and the Bunnymen record sleeves. All one has to do is listen to the third LP of House of Love, released on Fontana. 
House of Love, previously signed on Creation records, delivered unnamed children until 1991, all their albums are nameless before that period. 
Like most bands at the time, House of Love looked back in sixties music and soaked it in reverb-drenched guitars and an atmosphere that echoes strongly... Echo and the Bunnymen. 

Music fanzine would like to share the favorite tracks of this magnificent record, Karine is obsessed with the band and actually saw them live back in the early nineties. 

I don't know why I love you - House of Love 

Hedonist - The House of Love

Shake and Crawl - House of Love


Ruth M. Ellyerie is no other than Thierry Müller, graphic artist, photographer and musician behind the magnificent Polaroïd/Roman/Photo album that is dedicated to his own anagram. 
The LP sold 50 copies in 85, the year it was released on Paris Records, but is now a collector's item. It will be re edited on vinyl by Angular Records for its 25th anniversary*. The whole album is outstandingly modern for what the french music scene was doing at the time: rachitic rythms and two fingers on the Casio. 
Müller wanted to make a pop album that could be aired, and it includes some rather effective pop songs (Polaroïd/Roman/Photo) along with experimental bits, like the album's first song, Thriller, whith extracts from J. Huston's Asphalt Jungle and a sampled phone. Polaroïd/Roman/Photo (LP) is a stunning pop music piece with sexy trumpets and cold beats on which Frédérique Lapierre (who co-wrote most of the tracks) sings with cruel and hypnotic and languid voice. Urban myths says that on the first version of the song, woman's verses were sung by a girl Müller just met and took back to the studio, the result is playful and by far quirky and one could imagine this unknown french girl saying these things to you in a flirty, yet mocking way. This track was revamped and replaced by Frédérique's more fluid version which has more credibility in the album as a whole. The aforementioned ''jane doe'' version is available on the remastered CD (Fractal records).

Mots is the 6th track of Polaroïd/Roman/Photo, and was featured in some compilations in early 2000's, but was overshadowed by the eponymous Polaroïd/Roman/Photo track.
The song is rather obsessive with its thrumping trumpet and looping fultes-clarinets, martial drums as well as its dreamy synthetizers and ethereal vocals reciting poetry by Edouard Nono. 

Un mot un mot un mot offert         Saillantes virgules histoire tirée du tube 
parfois parfois c'est sauter             finir le pas moi une chose sortir finir
tu tu t'efforces en mesure              sortir finir sortir de tes pores
sinistre dans tes fleurs 

qui va passer araignée            A partir de là prendre les mots et jouer entre eux
se tordre trop tard un peu parfois     Un mot parfois offert pour où? Offert parfois
un mot un mot un mot offert                    alors un mot pour où?
alors offert offert pour où

Peut-être peut-être                 Yeux fermés cils hallucinés des actes et fibres
peut-être complice               après fibre tourner cacher tourner cacher tourner cacher
boucler juste le silence                 cacher tourner cacher ton usure.
elle elle introduit son corps
prenant la place de ma faim

Rouge de sang orageux se prendre             A franchir la fièvre à verser les mots
se prendre leur danse dans la nuit d'un monde     à verser ces mots dans la fatigue
peut-être peut être peut-être boucler             puis après serrer un monde bouclé
serrer boucler boucler folie                                Peut-être ton usure...

Ruth - Mots  

*The album was previously re mastered and re edited in 2000 by Thierry Müller himself, a CD version was released on Infrastition/Fractal records at the time, but is now sold out, Music owns the whole album and wouldn't mind sharing it.



At Music, we have an unconditional love for french new wave, as you might know if you own the issue 0 of the fanzine.

Marie et les Garçons are from Lyon, they were formed in 1975 and toured with the likes of The Clash, Police and french bands like Téléphone and Bijou. They were discovered by Michel Esteban and Lizzy Mercier Descloux and invited to record their debut album in New York, it was produced by John Cale. But the band split up when the "garçons" from the band discovered dance music and decided to record a disco album that made it to the US charts but never gained commercial success. 
Here are two versions of the same song: Re Bop. The first one is a catchy rock'n'roll tune that loops on the same sentence, a very upbeat take on surf music. It was released in france in the late seventies. 
The second one, Re Bop Electronic was on the B-Side of Garçons's debut album, "Divorce", released on Ze Records. It is featured on the great "Ze Records Story (1979 - 2009)" compilation (Strut Records). This version is darker and could sound like a clean french Suicide single, the analog instruments transform the song completely, making it as cold as the lazers of the long gone Palace.

Re-Bop - Marie et les Garçons 

Re-Bop Electronique - Garçons


Tokow Boys manipulate the clichés of the eighties as precociously as if they were holding dynamite. The gang of five serve us an explosive mix of laconic slogans and child ballads, on analog beats and heavy bass all mixed up with perverse carelesness. When the band split up, two of their members carried on with music and formed Luna Parker, who peaked french charts with the single "Tes états d'âme, Eric".
I just got a 7" at this great record store and extracted this track. It is the B-Side of their first single "Petite Rockette". Throbbing lyrics on ambiant music.

Swinging Pool - Tokow Boys



In the issue 0 of Music (the fanzine) we decided that the 9th track of the compilation would be one from Stuart Moxham's solo project: The Gist. It is a simple song in which you can almost hear the wind blowing through the station where someone seems to be waiting for Love at First Sight. Taken from the 1983 album Embrace The Heard, of which Moxham himself said that it was a "symbol of (his) misery and lack of direction at the time", this synthetic ballad where the treacly pop of Colin Blunstone collides with Brian Eno's intellect on the ruins of his former band, Young Marble Giants.

In the issue 11 of les Inrockuptibles (1988), Moxham was interviewed on Embrace the Herd:

"I couldn't work at the time, I didn't know what to do. I had lost all ambitions. Then I had a motorbike accident which left me in a plaster and crutches for a year. This incident made me go back to London since Rough Trade (who then signed Young Marble Giants) asked me to compose an album after listening to the demos I previously sent them. Part of the album is actually demos, I was naïve thinking I could do better. There was no direction or continuity in the album, but I was thinking about The Gist since Young Marble Giants released Colossal Youth, the day the latter band separated is the day Love at First Sight was released."

Embrace the Herd (released on Cold Storage records) is a jewel comparable to Eno's masterpiece, with as much elegance and complexity as the 1977 pre-new wave album Before and After Science.
Moxham also claimed that he was listening to a lot of dub music at the time, which leaves its print on some tracks of the record, but generally, Embrace the Herd leaves the listener feeling like he listened to eighties pop songs standing in a train station, shivering from the cold Liverpool winter.

Here are two tracks from The Gist's Embrace the Herd:

Love at First Sight (Demo version) - The Gist

Dark Shots - The Gist 

French singer Etienne Daho has his own personal take on Love at First Sight, which appears on his third album, "Pop Satori" (Virgin music): Paris, Le Flore. 
The lyrics have nothing to do with the original Moxham recording, but the melody is almost intact (though the Daho version has added synthetizers).
This is the english version we're posting:

Love at First Sight (The Gist cover) - Etienne Daho 



the firstsecond edition of MUSIC will be in collaboration with musician Charbel Haber, who will share his primary record collection with us, the sound that got him into making music. We met him at his flat in Beirut to gather all the images we needed to have so as to create a visual identity that is close enough to the former Scrambled Eggs, La Chambre, X-mas Eve Family Massacre front man.



One of The Smith's best songs, off the 1985 album Meat is Murder.  

Morrissey barks painfully to the sound of a heavy yet almost funky bass, it's touching, sad and at the same time very danceable for a song that addresses a rather sensitive topic.
The same verse is repeated about four or five times in the 6 minutes song, leading to the last bit that is only instrumental, the climax of Barbarism Begins at Home is there, followed immediately by a brutal end, but you've been shuffling your feet and nodding your head all along, you're begging for more. Leave the song on repeat.

Barbarism Begins at Home - The Smiths 



We were invited by Ziad Nawfal on his show, Ruptures, on 96.2 Radio Liban to discuss the Music fanzine project, unfortunately we sound terrible, it's quite funny.
Playlist includes the likes of Ride, Pale Fountains, The Smiths, Beat Happening, The Field Mice and My Bloody Valentine.

bonus: a lovely 12'' mix of two ex Throbbing Gristle : October Love Song (12" mix) - Chris & Cosey



''Music'' is a flashback, it is a way of paying a tribute to the music fanzine that marks a long gone era, when paper and xerox were the only way to spread a particular cultural phenomenon for others who shared the same interest.
With this medium, we try to recreate an emotional state that is very strong during adolescence: fandom, and how one identifies with the bands he worships. With this tribute to the fanzine, we try to (...) how a fan builds a world around a certain guitar riff, or a certain sound in Morrissey's voice when he says that he dreamed that somebody loved him, but it was just a false alarm.
The inner scar of obsession is permanently carved as the now adult fan cherishes idols of the past and therefore perpetuates his stripling dream, some collect concert tickets or posters while others still cling to their younger years in a way or another.
With ''Music'', we try to bring these fans together, by having a guest sharing images  of artists and bands that marked him during his youth and still obsesses him, the guest will also share a playlist , to make you discover the songs which resonate in his memory and still move him.
This ode to adolescence and obsession, published in very few copies, is a way for the reader to discover some images and the music that overwhelms us. This return to the paper and CD format is a rematerialization of these ''sounds and visions'', to turn them into a palpable object of desire.