The Middle East tends to be an area many people in the UK would only recognise from the news.
Yet within the political strife lies a thriving youth culture, one that has some distinct parallels to our own.
Lebanese producer Nesta is a pillar of the scene, helping draw international attention towards the burgeoning electronic underground in the Middle East.
The beat maker struck up a friendship with duo Silky Raven, and a three-piece was quickly formed. Wholly collaborative, the trio's new EP works directly within the music of Beirut.
'Cedar Trees' EP will be released on Rebellion tomorrow (July 14th) with Clash able to premiere deeper-than-deep cut 'Temple Of Bacchus'.
Dive in below, then check out a guide to Beirut penned by Nesta & Silky Raven.
When we came for the first time to Beirut, it was to play a little gig in a super nice hidden place, that could only be entered by walking right through a tiny old barber shop. We where welcomed by such warm-hearted crazy amazing people, who deeply love and appreciate music and who appeared to especially fall in love with our music especially deeply that night, plus an amazing soundsystem and more than proper drinks... made up one of our most memorable nights ever.
Next morning, Nabih took us into the mountains around the city by car, introduced us to Lebanese traditional music and food and that was when we fell in love completely and forever with this amazing city. Instead of calling it "Paris of the middle east" we should maybe name a couple of cities 'Beirut of the West', if they make it so far...
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überhaus/The Gärten (Club)
I’ve been a resident and a partner in the club since day one. überhaus is a winter venue, The Gärten is an open one, both clubs were hailed to be the best in the Middle East by Mixmag. The Architecture is breath taking and The sound system is just pure magic with the new Evolution F1 series, and the lights are just out of the world. Both locations have a magical vibe.
Rest. Fouad (Traditional Lebanese Food)
It’s a story of a family who decided to open their balcony as a restaurant in the mountains. It serves the most authentic Lebanese food you’ll ever have, and waiters are known to recite a poem using the name of a traditional Lebanese platter. The food is just unbearable and is made by Fouad’s grand mother.
Beaches Of Batroun (Sea)
The shore is just magnificent. It is rocky but the water is crystal clear and the seafood is really good. Ideal for the day!
Disc Jockey Kaslik (Music Shop)
I've been going to this place since I was a little kid. I got my first heavy metal album from there, it was Metallica’s Black Album. It's one of the oldest music stores in Beirut, there you can find any album you desire. Kamal, the owner, was the only one getting records to the country during the civil war in the 70’s. They had a lot of records at the time, now you can always find some hidden funk or disco gems.
Take a walk in the splendid protected Forest of the Cedars, and listen to the sound and vibrations of these mythical trees.
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Nesta & Silky Raven will release the 'Cedar Trees EP' on July 15th.