Praed – Made in Japan (CD Annihaya records)

Straight outta Beirut, this second CD by Praed, which is a collaboration between Paed Conca, a swiss composer and Raed Yassin, one of the leading musicians of the Lebanese experimental scene. Offered are 12 tracks, together forming a strange mix of Gilbert Artman’s free jazzrock, Warp label weirdness mixed with a kind of lounge as redefined on Nurse with wound’s Huffin’ Rag Blues, from time to time flirting with north African rai and snippets of noise all there for the listeners convenience. In general, the Lebanese alternative scene seems to be very active these days, with a few names returning. Predominantly they are Mazen Kerbaj and Raed Yassin, playing together with Sharif Sehnaoui as the “A” trio, but also delivering great stuff together recently with Scrambled Eggs, also from that same scene. This disk is released by the Annihaya label that even has a mission. From their website “ to work through popular forms of music whilst skewing their normative diffusion and meanings for the listener . The result absolutely lives up to the expectation set. PvdG