Kinematik: A System of Communication

In general the term Kinematics is describing the motion of objects without reference to the forces which cause the motion. Deriving from this term, Beirut based band Kinematik creates a system of communications through their own music which is always in motion. In March they released their debut album Ala’.

(Photo by Karl F. Sfeir, Station Beirut, Source: Kinematik Facebook Page)

The debut album Ala’ is a mixture of different genres. While borrowing heavily from rock and electronic sounds, Kinematik are creating their own sound not confined to only one particular genre. “50 % of our music is the result of improvisations”, says Anthony Sahyoun, guitarist of Kinematik.

Cover of Ala‘
Growing up in a small village, the band members have known each other for a long time and it was natural that they started to play together because “if only four musicians are living in a small town, they start playing together.” While Sayhoun and Rudy Ghafari were working for art exhibitions and for films a promoter approached them. He asked them if they could do a performance, and soon Kinematik emerged in 2014.

The work on Ala’ started in late 2015/early 2016. It was a long process. Fadi Tabbal, “The Godfather of Beirut”, as Sahyoun calls him, helped the band by producing and working with them on the debut album. Sayhoun felt that „Fadi Tabbal is like the fifth member of the band because of his involvement in producing the album.“ In an interview with Project Revolver the band explains that “we had a long discussion with Fadi Tabbal where we saw what could really be done to it.” Nevertheless, the melodies, the rhythms, and everything was already written, but Tabbal helped them a lot giving them a new perspective on their music and helping them to record the album.

It took them almost six month to finish the album, and a couple of weeks more to record it. Interestingly, they did not record the album digitally but on an 8 track reel-to-reel-machine. Sayhoun explains that it was important to record it on tape and not digitally. “You can record your stuff on the album digitally, and you can change everything, but when you are recording on tape, there are boundaries. The songs are the way they are because you record it that way”

The album Ala’ consists of six songs. Most of the songs are stretching the 3:00 Minute mark, and the longest song is Hhx (9:30 minutes). The opening title Kelmeh Oula is introducing the listener to the soundscape and world of Kinematik where music is telling a story that is not fixed. Through the course of the music, the listener can work through their own story, creating plots and characters interacting through the course of the album. It is very experimental, attempting different styles and sounds. While each song is different, Kinematik is still establishing their own unique style through the six songs of Ala’. The sound resembles somewhat a soundtrack, and this makes sense because some of the musicians at Kinematik have already worked for documentaries.

The writing process of Kinematik is not solely based on a system of rules. The music of Kinematik emerges mostly through improvisations and jamming. The music follows a system of communication of all instruments and band members. Naturally it always starts with an idea, and a melody or a groove but the structure is fluid and open minded, which the listener is able to hear in Ala’  through the experimental sound of each song. It feels that they have grown very organically and they are fluid.

Trying to describe the music of Kinematik Sayhoun says that “It is in between genres, It has definitely rock elements but at the same time electronic elements as well. It is in between those types of music.” Ala’ has a very post-rock feel to it, and is heavily influenced by Krautrock. Krautrock is a type of experimental rock that emerged in the late 1960s in Germany, and was somewhere along the road of psychedelic rock, electronic music and other genres.

While Ala’ has already been released on various platforms, a Vinyl edition is produced as well. Kinematik is planning to go on tour this year with Ala’  in Europe. Their shows are usually accompanied by visual arts. In addition to planning the tour, they have already composed a score for a silent movie from 1932 called Vampyr by Carl Theodor Dreyer. The score is planned to be released soon.

You can find more on Kinematik at Ma3azef and Project Revolver.

Facebook Page: Kinematik

Soundcloud: Kinematik


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