Amidst Beirut’s bubbling electronic music scene, there are a few local DJs who manage to offer an experience that is as eclectic and mature as the ones offered by internationally acclaimed artists. One of these artists whose name started edging into the lime light is Jad Taleb, a Beirut-based music producer whose passion has never limited him to electronic music production; he has also working as a film composer, sound designer, and with fine arts. His explorations in music initially took him to the rock world, where he founded Flum Project, a Beirut-based electronic rock group. From there, he developed into the sequencing maniac that he is, pushing his boundaries and personalizing a sound for himself that merges techno, electro and sound art with Arabic music, which he showcased last April in his Ballentine’s X Boiler Room Beirut last April. This is when we had a sit down with him, but Jad Taleb is the type of guy who talks little about himself, and prefers to let his music do most of the talking.
You’re not only a DJ and producer, but you’re also a sound designer, film composer and sound artist. How did you start showing interest in the different branches of sound?
I started my career as an animator and video artist. I then smoothly switched into sound design and film scoring, and it became a major highlight in my daily life ever since.
Did you study audio engineering or anything similar?
2D / 3D animation.
What role did living in Beirut play in your music and your sound?
Beirut helped me a lot in exposing my material. I moved there in 2010, and launched my first trip-hop band Purple Seeds at the faculty. Then Flum Project was born, and now I’m on my own.
You spent quite some time recording your Transistory EP in Berlin. Did the vibe there affect your creative process in any different way than Beirut?
Yes of course, it helped me develop my dance floor sound: the kick, the bass and the crunchy beat. The clubbing experience was also inspiring.
Tell us about your Ballantine's Boiler Room experience. How did you benefit from it as an artist? How did the gig go?
It was simply outstanding, and I gained a lot of exposure, worldwide.
How do you explore new sonic possibilities and make music outside the box?
I get inspired from everything that moves around me - women, food, parties nothingness, crap and so on. I have my own way of translating these elements into deep, fulfilling sounds.
Are you considering expanding your sonic palette and trying out something further down the sound design spectrum, like video game SFX for example?
Not really, but I might someday.
How does your experience as a visual artist feed your creativity as a musician or vice versa?
Being a visual artist adds up a lot to my music taste. Sometimes when I compose a piece, I visualize the content layers in geometric and organic shapes, and vice versa. This helps me organize my ideas and shape up a unique composition.
What is the meaning behind your track names “Transistory” and “Mad”? Do they have any political implications?
Not at all, the whole EP is quoted from a philosopher named Gille Deleuze, specifically an extract from his concept of the body without organs that says : “...this body without organs is permeated by unformed, unstable matters, by flows in all directions, by free intensities or nomadic singularities, by mad or transitory particles.”
Which artist would you recommend we listen to from Beirut’s rising musicians?
Rolbac, Etyen, Mme Chandelier.