05 7 / 2012

An extra bonus Q&A for you all that was too late to make our July magazine.

Home to a slew of innovative house and techno protagonists, Mobilee has established itself as one of Berlin’s most reliable imprints. We had a chinwag with Greek-born star-in-the-making And.Id [pictured above], who plays alongside Germany’s Martin Landsky at Ill Communication’s Mobilee showcase next Friday (July 13)…

You have a reputation for embellishing your sets with live trumpet. Are you bringing the brass to the Emirates?

Unfortunately I’m not bringing this time as I’m not performing a live set in Dubai, but I will bring some favorite records. We are going to have a good time. As long as I can dance to a record then it’s good enough for me to play it!

Have you crossed paths with Martin Landsky [pictured below] many times in the past?

We are friends have played a lot of times together. For sure it’s something special, but I’m not saying much because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Mobilee nights are something not to be missed.

Can you pick out a favorite city/club/event that you’ve played this year so far?

Difficult to answer because every place is unique and has a different energy. But if I have to pick up one, that will be our Mobilee rooftop party in Barcelona during Sonar.

You previously assembled a jazz-based band to reinterpret Mobilee classics. Is the live band route something you’re going to explore further in the future?

Yes. I’m always working with my band in the background. Things are going to happen when the time is right. The future plans are to make a long player and set up a live performance with a lot of musicians on stage.

What is Greece like at the moment, given all the austerity cuts and political turmoil?

We have a new government that it is not so new, as it is a combination of parties that have governing for the past 30 years and led Greece into that condition. People are losing their jobs but not their hope for a better future. Politicians are corrupt and in my opinion that’s the reason why Greece was the perfect place for the countries with power to test the limits of the economic system. The only good thing about this story is that people redefine themselves and are going back to their roots. A lot of people are moving from the big cities to the countryside and choosing a new way of life closer to nature. In the cities, art is emerging as a reaction of young people against the political system. I don’t know what to expect but I know at the end Greece will find its way.

Jul 13, Trilogy, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs130, Dhs100 before midnight, ladies free until 11pm. Tel: (050) 7258277. mobilee-records.de

26 6 / 2012

Raised in Welsh city Swansea, but now based in Berlin, Doc Daneeka has become one of the most dropped names in underground dance music. We spoke to him ahead of a debut Dubai show at Dust x Prism…

 

Have you visited this part of the world before?

No. One of my best friends, [Dust associate/Prism DJ] Yeti, who I run [record label] Ten Thousand Yen with moved out a few years ago, so I’ve been wanting to visit since then.

What comprises a Doc Daneeka set right now?

The stuff I’ve been feeling lately: normally up-tempo house, bass music or whatever. Just straight polyrhythmic dance music for girls to dance to.

You started to make waves with tastemaker types in Europe and the USA a couple of years ago, but are only just making it to the Middle East. Is it weird to have a staggered impact in different parts of the world?

Not really. This sort of music originated where we grew up and therefore we were earliest on it. It’s kind of natural and exciting to be part of it anywhere. To see people’s enthusiasm in new places is always special.

You grew up in Wales. Is there anything inherently Welsh about your music that might have been different if you’d have been brought up elsewhere?

I doubt it. Weirdly, at the start, some people thought I was American because I didn’t sound particularly ‘London’. So in a way, maybe living outside of London allowed me to be more isolated stylistically. Maybe that’s a Welsh sound? Hah.

You’re currently based in Berlin. A few years back there was a real influx of British electronic music makers moving to the city because of cheap rent and the great party scene…

I think that still applies. It’s basically an adult playground filled with interesting people and it’s still much cheaper than Britain, relatively. I visited a lot before I moved here and always loved it.  

Your label is called Ten Thousand Yen, which despite the impressive sounding amount is actually only worth around Dhs469 (£83/US$127). Was there any significance to the number/name?

The name, if I remember correctly, was conceived driving through a tea field in India with Yeti, my brother and one of our other best friends. We had been driving for three weeks in a rickshaw. Understandably by that point conversation had become a little ‘left’. Somewhere in there lies the truth.

You’re named after a self-serving physician in Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22. Did you identify with the character?

He’s a bit of a d******d but I liked him. I need to re-read to see if I still stick by him.

Jun 29, The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai, 9pm to 3am, Dhs60. Tel: (056) 7996335/(050) 2484054. soundcloud.com/docdaneeka

08 4 / 2012

peter gordon

London-based Kiwi chef Peter Gordon has restaurants in London, Auckland and Istanbul, recently published his eighth cookbook, Fusion, and is lauded by food writers the world over as the king of fusion cuisine. What’s On food editor Gareth Rees sat down for an espresso with the affable chef during his recent visit to Jones The Grocer in Dubai…

What’s On: So, Peter, what exactly is fusion cuisine? Are we talking curry and Cornflakes?

Peter Gordon: No, no. All the world’s great cuisinesare a fusion to a certain degree. Fusion looks at the world’s ingredients, ignores where they come from and tries to find a way to bring them together in harmony. I believe that regional boundaries mean nothing, and that all the different flavours can work together with a bit of thoughtful planning.

WO: You were born in New Zealand, a country that produces plenty of top quality produce. What sparked your interest in fusing ingredients from all over the world?

PG: I was raised in a family that grew a lot of its own vegetables; we butchered our own animals in the garage and made soap out of the beef fat. A typical 1960s New Zealand family – it was quite normal to do all of that. Then I moved to Australia as an 18 year old, and Melbourne was a place of amazing cultural diversity. There were Greeks, Italians, Moroccans, French – just everybody. I was so excited by all of these new flavours and ingredients that when it came to cooking for my mates, or even just myself, I would opened the cupboard and cook everything that was in there.

WO: Fusion cuisine can be a complete disaster with the wrong chef behind the stove, though, surely?

PG: A good cook, given any ingredients, will look at the characteristics of those ingredients and work from there. I read recently that when the Jerusalem artichoke first arrived in Europe it was used often in desserts such as crème brulee, so it was seen as having quite a sweet characteristic. But if any restaurant in Dubai put Jerusalem artichoke in a crème brulee or panna cotta now, people would say, “oh lord, that’s some weird fusion”. But it was actually done a few hundred years ago.

WO: So it’s just a matter of perception, then?

PG: Yes, I suppose it is. If you look at Thai cuisine, for example, Thais use a lot of sugar in their savoury dishes. So you will have a lovely beef salad with a palm sugar and lime juice dressing. Or you might have fishthat has been glazed with sugar syrup. But if you said to a German, “I want to put sugar on your savoury food” he would think you were bonkers. All cultures have a lot to offer, and I always keep my eyes and ears open to see what other people are doing.

WO: You mentioned earlier that you grew up eating ingredients you had grown or reared yourself – truly local produce. Isn’t using ingredients imported from across the globe terrible for the environment?

PG: I was invited on to Canadian radio to debate with a chef from Toronto – a supporter of the ‘locavore’ movement [those who believe in using locally produced produce] – and he argued that using all of these different ingredients wasn’t sustainable. But, if you take New Zealand lamb, for example, it is more sustainable than Welsh lamb – the carbon footprint for British lamb is three times that of a New Zealand lamb. People can’t quite believe that, because it’s from so far away, but it’s true. All the sheep in New Zealand are free range, most of our electricity is generated through hydroelectric power, whereas in the UK it’s generated by fossil fuels. So you can use food that’s from a long way away that is, in fact, more sustainable than local produce. I also asked him if he served coffee in his restaurant, and of course he did. If you lived in Brisbane, Australia, being a locavore would be easy, because everything is grown there, but all you have in Britain in winter is swedes and turnips. If you lived in central China, you couldn’t have seafood. It’s just not going to work. I have my own set of rules when it comes to sustainability.

WO: With ingredients from all over the world available here, Dubai is the perfect destination for fusion cuisine. Any plans to revisit?

PG: It is. You have a lot of different ingredients, people from different cultures and a mix of different cuisines. This is just trip number one, so we’ll have to see. 

Peter Gordon’s book Fusion is available now at Jones The Grocer

07 2 / 2012

International art fair Art Dubai is back this March with some new talent. (We hear theyre hosting over 75 galleries from 32 countries) Heres a peek at whats in store this time around:

Amir Fallah, Ruler of The Repeating Pattern

Hayv Kahraman, Anthropometric Twin

Amir Fallah, On Hand And Foot

 

Laleh Khorramian, Audience Head

Mar 21 to 24, Madinat Jumeirah Arena. artdubai.ae.

01 2 / 2012

We’re still buzzing from the crackling success that was the What’s On Awards Abu Dhabi. Here are the winners and a hearty congrats to all!

Favourite Bar – Sea Lounge, Monte Carlo Beach Club  

Favourite Brunch – CuiScene, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr

Favourite Café – Jones the Grocer

Favourite Chef of the Year – Alexandre Pernetta, Bord Eau

Favourite Concert – Snoop Dogg, Flash Entertainment, 

Favourite European – Bord Eau, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri

Favourite Far Eastern–  Hakkasan

Favourite Festival – Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Favourite Indian&Pakistani, Souk Qaryat Al beri, Ushna

Favourite International – Le Deck, Monte Carlo Beach Club

Favourite Italian – Spaccanapoli, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi

Favourite Japanese – Yotto, Cipriani Yas Island

Favourite Middle Eastern – Mezlai, Emirates Palace

Favourite Newcomer – Quest, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Favourite Nightclub – Etoiles

Favourite Pub Grub – Cooper’s, Park Rotana Abu Dhabi

Favourite Restaurant of the Year – Hakkasan

Favourite Seafood – Pearls & Caviar, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri

Favourite Special Achievement – The Club

Favourite Sports Event – F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Favourite Steakhouse – Rodeo Grill, Beach Rotana

Favourite The Americas – Chamas, InterContinental Abu Dhabi 

31 1 / 2012

Club night, Dust, has made its burgeoning rep putting the strut and imaginative beats into Dubai nightlife and its new regular live event at The Music Room looks set to cement that status.

The first edition this month welcomes pioneering Lebanese jazz/soul/funk/much-more-beyond crewBeirut Groove Collective (plus DJ action from Megadon BetamaxJames Locksmith and Mr Yeti). We dropped DJ and founding member Ernesto Chahoud a line to get the lowdown on getting down with BGC…


Beirut Groove Collective’s Ernesto Chahoud  (Credit: Nancy Siam)


Your primary focus is Afro-American music. Was it a case of almost creating your own scene in Beirut when you started out? Or was there already a thriving underground?
We created our own scene, indeed. There was no underground scene for Afro-American music in Beirut at all. It never existed before Beirut Groove Collective.  Beirut’s clubbing reputation is big in the region, but it’s not based on the quality of the music as much as the aggression of its nightlife and architecture of its clubs. It’s a sad thing, but the nightlife scene is incredibly money-orientated. We weren’t into clubbing in Beirut. We were more into house parties. We’d install a soundsystem, decks, invite our friends and be banging the whole building.

What kind of crowd are you hoping for in Dubai?
It’s our first time playing in Dubai, but we know the quality of Dust, so we’re expecting a cool, hip crowd; the best in the city, for sure.

How large is the collective?
Very big. We usually work with 10 to 14 different artists each time we throw an event: DJs, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, painters, video artists, photographer and so on. For Dubai it will be the two founders of the Beirut Groove Collective – Rami Obeid aka Stickfiggr, and myself – Heavy G, a DJ and filmmaker who will be documenting the event, and visuals from several BGC artists screened all night. It’s an amazing recipe for a real old skool unique dance party, the best you can get in the region.

One of Dust’s architects, DJ Solo aka Wriggly Scott, has played in Lebanon before too, right?
He came to support us in Beirut. He launched his album and blessed the decks at our Superstar Sessions Vol. 2. It was an amazing gig, one of the best, in an abandoned warehouse in the deep heart of the industrial area of Beirut. We had 500-plus people dancing all night. We first met through Stickfiggr, who is a friend of Solo, and Heavy G knew about his party Freshly Laced.

Are there any BGC records on the way?
I released very limited copies of my second album,Broken Bridges, three weeks ago. It’s a collaboration with Oma El Fil recorded at the Red Bull Music Academy in Beirut. This album has nothing to do with what I spin at all. It’s experimental electronic music.

Any final words?
We’re so exited to hit the decks in Dubai and funk it up.


Feb 17, The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai, 10pm to 3am, Dhs50. Tel: (050) 2484054. thebgc.posterous.com

25 1 / 2012

Inside Sajja: A Labor of Light is more eye-opener than exhibition delving into the lives of an abandoned group of workers living in Sajja, an industrial area in Sharjah. It all began with a few fun snapshots and very quickly turned into a bittersweet story of their everyday lives.


Deserted by their employers, stranded without months worth of wages and no access to their passports, they were left to struggle for survival in a camp that lacked even the most basic of necessities: running water and electricity.

Since then they have received a substantial amount of support from Adopt-a-Camp and more recently documentary photographer Karen Dias who has donated cameras and held workshops.

As a result, Gulf Photo Plus is stepping in to exhibit some of the photographs clicked by these survivors and they will also be available to buy.  Postcard sized prints are Dhs20 each while 57X38cm prints are Dhs400. All proceeds from the sales are distributed directly to the workers involved. Go on, do your bit.

 Jan18 to Feb16, Inside Sajja:A Labor of Light, Gulf Photo Plus, Al Serkal Avenue, Unit d36, Al Quoz, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3808545. gulfphotoplus.com

 

 



 

24 1 / 2012

Using first hand experience of on going conflict in his native Gaza, Harb employs photomontage, a multi layering technique with photographs to explore how the invasion of private space manifests itself in people who experience conflict.

 

 

Feb20 to Mar14, I can imagine you without your home, Gallery Etemad, Al Quoz 1, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Unit 12, Dubai. Tel: (04) 346 8649. galleryetemad.com

23 1 / 2012

A student run non-profit organisation, The Aqua Initiative is striving hard to eradicate global water poverty. They will be holding their annual carnival to raise funds and awareness for those without access to clean water and sanitation in celebration of World Water Day.  

Mar1, Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills, Dubai, 2:30pm to 7:00pm.Tel: (04) 3417495. theaquainitiative.com

22 1 / 2012

Property Giant Nakheel has launched a cruise around Palm Jumeirah and World Islands for residents and visitors alike. The one hour sail takes in views of Atlantis, Zabeel Saray, The Emerald Palace Kempinski and One and Only The Palm.