Although a historical source of creativity and inspiration for the broader music industry, the crippling and enduring socio-political status quo in Palestine has - for decades - resulted in homegrown musicians being erroneously under-exposed. However, over the last fifteen years or so, with the proliferation of artistic collectives jointly dedicated to channelling talent into the production of various forms of art, the Palestinian underground and electronic music scene has burgeoned by leaps and bounds. Substantiating the success of such platforms, are artists like Plus Nine Seven Zero (+970).
A member of "UNION" - the Palestinian collective dedicated to linking artists together and equipping them with the means to develop - +970 is (among others) leveraging on such local initiatives in order to diffuse his sound globally. Last year, +970 was on Egyptian festival Chill O'posite's lineup (due to visa complications, he was unable to attend) and played for Amsterdam's Red Light Radio. This Friday he will be performing live for Hoer, Berlin's acclaimed radio station.Throughout this year, the Ramallah-based DJ and producer has released two EPs, 3atmeh (Darkness) and Red Light. Incorporating the coarse layers of the urban city, which in +970's case comprises constant destruction and reproduction, 3atmeh is wholly industrial in sound. From inaugurating track 0001 to the final 0005, the EP is wired with a fusion of techno, ambient and experimental hues (primarily the infamous glitch) which concertedly achieve the artist's objective - to annihilate society's rigid construct of 'darkness' and reconstruct it to portray the urban, multi-layered and dark disorder of Ramallah.In November, +970 released Red Light with the Italian imprint, Insane Industry. The four-track EP, albeit brighter than its antecedent 3atmeh, is (as implied by its title) cryptic. The inaugurating "Intro" track is emblematic of horrific ambience, meanwhile its sequel - "Confusion" - builds on the same spine-chilling melody, with dub and deep-bass elements before transitioning into industrial techno. Resonating with an Agatha Christie murder but with an added thumping beat and occasional burst of mechanical noise, "Suspicious" transforms the easily-defined eeriness into an ambiguous melange. Finally, the album closes with "Miliana" - a track highlighting +970's ability to transform the incongruous sounds of Palestine into a raw ambient sound, which can be harnessed and internalised by the individual in order to release their own darkness.