Rabih Beaini / Morphosis
Morphosis aka Ra.H aka Rabih Beaini has been crafting away in the nether-regions of the techno underworld since the 90s. Initially as a DJ, it was a move to Italy in 1996 which proved the catalyst for him to start experimenting in the studio. And he really did experiment: few people craft the sort of emotional, imaginative techno as has Beaini for labels like Sistrum Recordings (Detroit), M>O>S and Delsin (Amsterdam) and mainly for his own imprint Morphine Records. His productions join the dots between raw, elementary electronica and jazz, and for the last seven years his label has released an equally avant-guard selection of electronica from the likes of Madteo, Hieroglyphic Being, Metasplice and Anthony "Shake" Shakir. Back in Venice, Italy, Beaini opened the Elefante Rosso Music Club which became renowned for its huge line-ups and events, workshops and recordings before it eventually closed to become an education center. The club had an unwavering musical vision and pursued it, under Beaini’s guidance, with some of the best forward-thinking music from free jazz to experimental, noise, techno and electro-acoustic.
Right after moving out from Italy in 2011, his album “What Have We Learned” came out and was rated among the top albums of the year by critics and the tours involved some of the best festivals and venues in the world, likes of Bunker NYC, The Labyrinth Japan, Unsound Festival Krakow, Elevate Austria and RA X in Moscow. His upcoming EP on Honest Jon's as Morphosis, upcoming album on Lebanese imprint Annihaya as well as the Rabih Beaini and Damo Suzuki live in Hamburg collaboration upcoming on Morphine Live Series shows him to continue his unique journey as one of the most inquisitive and fascinating electronic musicians today.
The rising star Ravid Kahalani was born in 1978 in Israel to a Yemenite family which originated from Kohlan near Sanaa district in Yemen. Coming from a Yemenite-Jewish culture which is well known for their singing talents, his family has a great history of singers. One of them was Zacharia Yitzhak, a traditional singer and cantor. Ravid remembers himself singing at the age of 5, and as son to a conservative family, he used to sing liturgy in the Synagogue. The immense excitement and the enthusiastic reactions of his surroundings were the first signs predicting that singing will become a great love in his life. Today, he says: “music is my religion”.
In the stormy years of adolescence, Ravid took distance from his roots and religion, and was into Afro-American Soul and Blues. While singing in high pitches Ravid turned to theatre and studied for two years in Nissan Nativ Acting Studio. He acted in the play “Rust” by Avishai Hadari, which won first prize in Akko Theatre Festival 1998.
Feeling the passion for music he left his short acting career to learn percussions. He mainly studied drumming by himself and with some guidance of International percussion master Chen Zimbalista, who incorporated Ravid in his show “Zimba”.
Ravid's first appearance as a solo vocalist was in a dance show, named “Joy” by chorographer and dancer Yossi Yungman in Israel Festival 2003. A year later, while the show was performed in Beograd, a Serbian musician who was in the audience named Misko Plavi, invited Ravid to join his project as a lead singer. Ravid performed in Misko Plavi's “East Kissing West” concert, which was released later as a live album with the same title. Ravid stayed in Beograd and was fascinated of Serbian Orthodox church music. He started learning Serbian liturgy for a while with the singer Divna Petrovic. The Serbian church singing style introduced Ravid to European Classical music traditions and for the first time he was attracted to learn to sing Opera. Back in Tel-Aviv, Ravid studied for two years contertenor voice.
As time passed, Ravid felt a growing desire to sing more rooted music, especially in Arabic language. A meeting with Alon “Amano” Campino, a talented guitar and oud player, marked a turning point in his musical journey. Amano, an enthusiastic explorer of Worldmusic, was amazed by Ravid's versatile vocal talent and exposed him to music from the Sahara and North Africa. Ravid fell in love immediately with this music Styles which combined Oriental and African roots with black Soul using fascinating vocal techniques. After jamming together for a while, the two decided to create a band which they named “Desert Blues” and to perform cover versions to Nubian, Gnawa, Tuareg, Saidi, Bambara songs of artists from the Sahara. In addition they gradually integrated in the concerts traditional Yemenite songs and original songs written by Ravid in Yemenite-Arabic. The band performed for two years and received great feedbacks. Ravid felt like “coming home” and continued exploring the Sahara roots music and the fusion with his own Yemenite musical roots.
After coincidentally meeting the famous Israeli musician Idan Raichel in the streets of Tel Aviv, Ravid invited him to see a show of “Desert Blues”. As an result, Idan Raichel appointed Ravid to be a lead-singer in his successful Worldmusic project. Since then, Ravid toured the world performing with the “The Idan Raichel Project”.
Furthermore, several other fruitful collaborations emerged from Desert Blues concerts. Laroz, an electronic and Dub music producer and DJ was enchanted by the music and invited Ravid and Amano to create together a program which combined modern electronic sounds and grooves with African-Arabic music. The result had innovative and exciting sound and the trio performed under the name “Desert Groove” and made audiences in Tel-Aviv clubs dance with ecstasy.
Another well-known musician who discovered Ravid was Yisrael Borochov, leader of “East-West ensemble”. Borochov invited Ravid to join as solo vocalist in “Debka Fantasia”, a special production for Israel Festival 2008. This show presented old Hebrew songs which were composed with the inspiration of Palestinian folk music. The extraordinary arrangements of the singing and the orchestra were divided between Borochov and Omer Avital, a gifted musician, Contrabass virtuoso and Oud player, who is known as founder of the successful “Third world love” Jazz group.
Following to their work in this project, Ravid and Omer were dedicated and eager to continue their collaboration, and gave birth to Ravid's current and foremost musical program: YEMEN BLUES. Finally, Ravid's original Yemenite songs, his love for Jazz, Blues and African music came together in one musical project. Together with seven top musicians who joined Ravid and Omer, they present traditional Oriental sounds with western instruments, and contributing their rich musical talents to create the unique and fascinating sound of YEMEN BLUES.