International club sounds from the Tunisian DJ and producer.
When Deena Abdelwahed was DJing in Tunisia in 2015 as a resident at a club in the capital called Nüba, she was given a slot to play whatever she wanted. She dedicated nights to kuduro, footwork and other genres, even if the reception wasn’t always enthusiastic.
“Most people there don’t listen to music that they don’t immediately understand,” she told RA in 2018. “If you play something experimental in Tunis you could easily end up with a fight in the streets.”
A few years later she moved to Toulouse, and her productions, which take inspiration from traditional Arab music and global club styles, caught the attention of French label InFiné. Across several records for the label, including her debut album Khonnar, she has honed a bass-heavy blend of industrial textures, complex rhythms and synthesised Arabic instrumentation.
Following this year’s Dhakar EP for InFiné, Abdelwahed’s next appearance is on Alterity, an international compilation from Houndstooth that reflects on “how shared sounds and ideas connect many seemingly disparate scenes and cultures across the planet”. Abdelwahed contributes the track ‘Abbrejiyeytar’ alongside music from artists including 33EMYBW, AYA, Debit and Slikback.
Abdelwahed’s Fact mix, which arrives just a few days ahead of the compilation’s release and covers “a wide spectrum of density, rhythm and BPM,” is similarly globe-spanning, featuring tracks from Rabih Beaini, E-Saggila, Pixelord, Nazar, Gila and more.
“This mix is a reflect of a concentrated week, first week of August 2020,” she says. “Beirut explosion, first DJ gig under COVID-19 pandemic, going in second month alcohol free (first time ever…), important heat wave in France, Bandcamp Friday… pretty 2020ish! But 2020 music-wise was intense, the survival mode was on. I felt a lot of empathy and privacy in the latest music releases.”
Rabih Beaini – ‘Ghadab’
Radwan Ghazi Moumneh – ‘Qalouli (They Told Me)’
Natlek – ‘From A Situation In Which Nothing Can Happen’
Yunis – ‘The Blue Djinn’
E-Saggila – ‘Shd’
Cool Tiger – ‘I Feel You’
Lil Asaf – ‘Mbaka’l (Prod. Bashar Suleiman)
Monotrique – ‘Bird Drib’
Pixelord – ‘Игра’
3Phaz – ‘Siren’
Nazar – ‘Pausado’
Gila – ‘Death Slump’
Piero Umiliani – ‘Tarantellaccia’ (Mala Femmina c’ha miss máne remix)
Thoom – ‘Large Fly’
Ammar 808 – ‘Marivere gati’ (feat. Susha)
Listen next: Fact mix 771: Ethiopian Records