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140gsm vinyl pressed at Mothertongue (Italy), comes in a 350gsm jacket with a 3.5mm spine and a black paper inner dust sleeve.
Photography by Lujain Jo. Design by Josette 'ZOoz' Khalil.
Beacon Sound and Ruptured announce the second installment in their Corrosion Series and their sixth collaboration overall: Snakeskin, a moody, evocative, and achingly beautiful album by Lebanese producer/musician/engineer Fadi Tabbal and singer-songwriter Julia Sabra from Beirut-based indie trio Postcards.
Shapeshifting above ambient and industrial undercurrents, Snakeskin utilizes tape loops, synthesizers, vocals, and drum machines, combining Julia’s pop-inspired melodies and choral roots (an echo from her religious upbringing) with Fadi’s affinity for minimalism and musique concrète. The album seamlessly incorporates the melancholy electro-pop of "All The Birds", the quiet menace of "In Our Garden"; (long-lost treasures, ancient lies / another buried paradise), and the beat-driven 'Signs'. The title track sums up their frame of mind, beginning as a lullaby and evolving into a glittering tapestry of distortion and feedback.
The duo began working on Snakeskin in the aftermath of the August 2020 Beirut port explosion, which resulted in the death of over 200 people, injured 7,000, and left around 300,000 people homeless. Indeed, Julia's home was destroyed by the explosion and her partner and bandmate Pascal badly injured. The first song that they wrote together in the following months was "Roots", which closes out the album and was composed for the Ruptured-curated series The Drone Sessions in the fall of 2020.
As the artists write, Snakeskin is a product of "the disappearance of life as we know it, and with it the decay of nature and living creatures. There is no rebirth, no renewal. It’s about what it means to feel at home in such a place."
Some tracks were also inspired by events happening in the surrounding region, such as the invasion of Armenia by Azerbaijan and the Palestinian uprising of May 2021 (Sheikh Jarrah) - both events shedding light on relationships to home and land across the wider region.
The moon speaks in tongues we can't discern / A plastic dove hangs from a cypress branch / Haven't you heard? / Nothing grows here anymore / The air is burnt / Nothing grows...
“Snakeskin is a masterpiece that dreams not of renewal or rebirth but seeks to understand what feeling connected to this barren husk of a place means for us.” — Foxy Digitalis
“The combination of Sabra’s pop-orientated vocal melodies cutting through Tabbal’s minimal yet brutalist musical architecture is both life-affirming and melancholy. For fans of 4AD, Gazelle Twin and Broadcast.” — Norman Records
"The duo's more recent work feels like a creative breakthrough that is greater than the sum of its parts. The pair had previously merged their two styles in an expected way to great effect, but then they started organically blurring into a single shared style and the results turned into something more memorable and transcendent." — Brainwashed
released October 14, 2022
All music composed, performed and produced by Julia Sabra and Fadi Tabbal between November 2020 and December 2022. Lyrics by Julia Sabra. Drum samples by Pascal Semerdjian.
Recorded by Fadi Tabbal, mixed by Sary Moussa and Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Beirut.
Cover photo by Lujain Jo. Design by Josette 'ZOoz' Khalil.
Mastered by Rashad Becker.
Thanks to Ziad Nawfal, Andrew Neerman, Sary Moussa, Anthony Sahyoun, Pascal Semerdjian, Rachel Tabet, Marwan Tohme.
Snakeskin is the sixth collaboration between Ruptured and our friends Beacon Sound in Portland, and the second volume in our two labels' Corrosion Series, following Anthony Sahyoun's first solo album in 2021.
Ruptured Records was founded in 2008 by DJ and radio host Ziad Nawfal and sound engineer & studio owner Fadi Tabbal, as an
outlet for their activities as producers and promoters in Beirut. Ruptured releases music by artists from Lebanon and the MENA region in a variety of formats - with a strong focus on experimental rock and leftfield electronic music....more
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Dearest Arooj, firstly thank you. My brother died this year n what can be said about such loss n sadness. I saw n heard you at The end of the Road in England. I spent many years in India n love all the music, poetry of your heritage. Thankyou Arooj❤️ ben1769