Our Favourite HÖR Sets From SWANA Artists
Across a multitude of club genres, these artists brought a flair of SWANA spice to Berlin’s revered bathroom-like studio.
For those of you less versed in Berlin’s nightlife, HÖR is an independent electronic music platform that picked up steam through the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming a staple of Europe's ever-evolving party culture with its live-streamed sets featuring a fish-eye view of DJs over turntables in a white-tiled, neon-lit studio setting. Think Boiler Room but solo, in Berlin, and it looks kind of like a bathroom.
With a mission to keep electronic music culture alive, co-founders Ori and Charlee set up HÖR’s YouTube channel to create an at-home club experience. The revered Berlin-based collective went out of its way to invite a huge variety of regional and international artists and DJs over to their small Kreuzberg space to play in-person sets that were later broadcast live to thousands of people.
Here, we take a closer look at some of the most memorable HÖR sets by SWANA DJs that had listeners on both sides of the world two-stepping and shoulder-twisting in front of their laptops.
The Berlin-based streaming platform saw ZULI – the Cairo-based post-club avant-gardist - dropping a fireball of experimental electronica. The multi-instrumentalist, producer and sound design artist flexed his talents at the set, creating a sonic experience that was both nostalgic and futuristically vibrant.
With an electrifying blend of textures, samples and references showcasing his distinctive percussion-heavy production style, the semi-anonymous Cairo-based electronic producer brought his fresh take on Egyptian Shaabi rhythms and melodies to the famous neon-lit showcase.
Van Boom [Kuwait] & Oldyungman [Egypt/Palestine]
Dubai-based Egyptian producer Oldyungman and hardcore experimental Kuwaiti producer Vanboom took over HÖR with a B2B set, delivering a riotous mix with seamless transitions between industrial sounds and eclectic club genres.
Noise Diva [Syria]
Amsterdam-based Syrian producer and DJ delivered an ecstatic flow at her two HÖR sets, weaving a variety of genres; from Moroccan trap and Egyptian R&B to French drill, dancehall, and UK garage. “Being my first set, I was quite nervous. However, when I returned for my second performance, I had significantly improved my mixing skills and enjoyed it immensely,” Noise Diva told SceneNoise. “I really admire a channel like HÖR for embracing experimental music in their programming. I would absolutely love to play there for a third time.”
Dina Khashan [Egypt/Jordan]
Fast, dark and uncompromising - that’s Dina’s techno. The Jordanian-born, Egyptian-bred, Canadian national ignited the dimly lit room with her impressive tunes and charismatic presence.
Egyptian producer and DJ Assyoutii took HÖR’s listeners on an hour-long journey with mixes of some of his favourite tracks featuring moments of deconstructed club music, rapid-firing BPMs smoothly blended with hard techno and layers of glitch. The set beautifully showcased Assyoutti’s signature sound, pulling from various left-field electronic textures, with a finely tuned percussive pressure and fiercely squashed bass.
Arabs Do It Better - Marwan Hawash [Palestine]
Founded by David Pearl and Marwan Hawash, the party series Arabs Do It Better – an electronic HAFLA celebrating music from WANA and beyond – performed at HÖR three times, two of which saw David pulling some strings behind the DJ booth while the other featured Berlin-based Palestinian DJ Marwan Hawash whisking some eclectic Arab-infused tunes.
“Our experience was great, they were so welcoming and professional and you could feel they do it out of pure love for music,” Pearl and Hawash, Co-Founders of Arab Do it Better, told SceneNoise. “Being a more rugged version of Boiler Room that gives a stage to not only a variety of popular DJs across genres and countries but also up-raising young talents, they definitely have some impact on the global electronic music scene.”
Arabian Panther [Lebanon]
From warrior-march anthem to club banger tinged with some Middle Eastern instrumentals, the French-Lebanese culture-masher DJ made a hafla out of his HÖR’s set in Berlin.
Wrapped in an ethereal haunted vocal veil, Cairo-based music producer and sound designer put on a bold emotionally-charged display of Egyptian hybrid dance music in a B2B with Toumba, starring harsh synths, and heavy drums fueled by a spattering of glitch.
The Moroccan-born-and-bred, Boston-based DJ, deep-digging selector, and multidisciplinary product designer took his smooth immersive mixes to HÖR. His soundscapes swelled from deep, warm jazz to a party-popping crescendo, ending in a euphoric release.
Istanbul Ghetto Club [Turkey]
The anonymous avant-garde multidisciplinary collective delivered a humour-tinged HÖR set with an erotic touch, combining delightful Anatolian, Greek and Mesopotamian melodies with a modular synthesiser and some performance art.
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