Monday June 24th, 2024
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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.

Riham Issa

Our Favourite HÖR Sets From SWANA Artists

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.

ZULI [Egypt]

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.

3Phaz [Egypt]

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.

Assouytii [Egypt]

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.

Abadir [Egypt]

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.

Azzeddine [Morocco]

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.