Jad Taleb is a Lebanese music producer, visual artist, film composer and sound designer. It’s not the amount of talents that drew attention to Jad, it’s the level of mastery in which he operates each one. Jad is the co-founder of Beirut-based electronic rock duo ‘Flum Project’ with whom he released the debut album “Dormant” in 2015 to a huge critical acclaim given its high energy sound, concept and musical structure. Upon releasing his solo EP “Transitory” with Smash TV at Riverside Studios Berlin, as part of Beirut Berlin Express, we had a chat with him about his journey, Berlin experience, influences and art. Here’s what happened.
- Let’s start with how you got into music in general and production in particular.
I’ve been performing music as Piano and keyboard player for almost 12 years now, I produced my first electronic works in 2011, around which most of my recent research and projects evolved. In 2015 I released my debut album Dormant, with Flum project and I’m currently releasing my Solo EP “Transitory”.
- Tell us about your BBX experience. How was producing music in Berlin different than the work you do in your studio. What did it add to your music, creative process, inspiration and experience?
The BBX project helped me in exposing my material to the outside world, I got the chance to meet awesome international producers at Riverside Studios Berlin, record and design my music using their analog gears and mix it with high end hardware machines!
- You claim that the upcoming EP, Transitory, merges Arabic culture and the European way of treating sound. Tell us a bit about the creative process of making this record. How did you start? How did you pick which elements of culture to mix with which elements of the ‘European’ sound? How did you finalize and refine it?
I used the word European in my comparison, as a global overview of nowadays emerging music, but there are other influences from different regions as well: Detroit’s techno in the 90’s for instance, among others!!
So my record was originally crafted back in Beirut, I composed the basic structure and exported it with me to Berlin, and while I was there I took advantage of the city’s highly inspirational atmosphere to add the magic to it, and of course the professional environment at Riverside Studios and working with Smash TV, gave birth to a more solid outcome.
- Your live sets are a journey of sound that rewards the active listener. Do you produce with an objective or criteria in mind or you just play and it comes out like that?
My live sets, are ready-mades, accompanied by sound emulation, live bass triggering and a little bit of experimental tweaking. The music I make is very intuitive, and also rational in way, especially when I structure the impulsive works, into an ear friendly composition.
- Beirut has a very peculiar electronic music scene that emerges from its chaos. How would you say that affected your music and career?
Beirut’s frequency is so high and could get really annoying at some point, and weirdly enough this timbre inspires a lot in my productions, I record city soundscapes, intimate noises and such, dissect them and redefine them in my compositions.
- How does being a visual artist contribute to your sound-creating process?
Being a visual artist, always adds up to the sound treatment, especially when you work in sound design and film music, it helps you differ the video layers and imagine mutual assignments, for both video and sound, which means a video could inspire me to process a certain sound and vice versa.
- Are there any territories in sound that you hope to explore but still didn’t have the chance yet?
Of course there are, I always look forward to new ideas and explorations, it’s part of who I am, an infinite differentiating process.
Follow Jad’s sonic adventures:
[Bonus]: To dive deeper into his mind, here are 5 albums that influenced Jad as an artist and a person,
ravedeath 1972 Tim hecker
At the controls | James holden
image du future | suuns
Massive attack | 100th window
Headunters | Herbie hancock