These are a selection of tracks which I’m surprised aren’t popular enough =(
Armin Van Buuren ft Sophie – Virtual Friend (original mix) Absolutely adore this track from Armin’s new Mirage album
Markus Schulz feat. Justine Suissa – Perception (Vocal Mix) Forward to 3 minutes and 30 seconds =)
Cerf, Mitiska & Jaren – Beggin’ You (Armin Van Buuren Remix) A wonderful track from Armin’s ASOT 2010 album
and a some old tracks I listen to all the time
Du What U Du (Trentemoller Remix) – Yoshimoto Very… energetic song =P
Trentemøller – Moan feat. Ane Trolle (Trentemøller Remix) I love Trentemoller
Röyksopp – What Else Is There (Trentemøller Remix) You guys should know this, or at least it’s original
In the electronic music world, DJ Mag is the absolute authority when it comes to the world’s best DJs. The fans do the voting, and I have been voting for 6 years straight. To be honest, I felt more anxious about these votes more than the Lebanese elections… Why? Because of David Guetta’s sweeping success, but huge compromise when it comes to electronic music.
The pop-star DJ became a mere tune-maker for RnB and Pop singers, a disappointing, though very smart move from his part. The niches of music listeners who did not know that it’s 2010 and it’s not just ‘techno’ anymore, have discovered that indeed computers and machines are far better than guitars and drums… But, like the early Christians adopted 25 December as Christmas so converted pagans won’t have a major cultural shock, guetta adopted stuff from the grotesquely commercial, grammy-infested culture to introduce his music, most notably into the electronically-illiterate US.
My fear was a genuine one that Guetta would get the title because of so much craze from newbie EDMers. I was sad, that the only ‘real’ music genre left was about to be ‘polluted’. Now, I’m ashamed to have felt that way, for EDMers all over the world have proven that taste and passion still exist, and ARMIN VAN BUUREN has become the only human to be crowned world’s number 1 DJ for FOUR years in a row.
Armin’s message after he won:
You can vote for your five favorite DJs, and my vote for this year was the following:
1- Armin van Buuren – still #1
2- Deadmau5 – up 2 places to #4
3- James Zabiela – disappointing 11 place drop to #49
4- Fady Ferraye – #235 =D
Upon further inspection, one notices a considerable change in the traditional top 100. Names like Gareth Emery and Axwell have cemented themselves in the top 10, and traditional heavyweights like Sasha (27), Digweed (29) and Carl Cox (22) have dropped considerably after having been in the top spot and top 10 for years. Daft Punk have also fallen 11 whole places to become number 44.
The biggest fall though was the Thrillseekers, dropping down 41 places to #98 and second worst are Justice with 34 places lost to become #99.
Paul Oakenfold and Dubfire are two names that also fell sharply, tieing for the 3rd worst fall, 28 places to become #51 and #74 respectively.
One oddity is how ATB and Paul van Dyk cling to their top 20 spots despite virtually being dead. Laidback Luke, Sebastian Ingrosso and Dash Berlin have also all made it to the top 20, with number 20 being our own Arab Aly & Fila.
Beyond the 100:
Steve Lawler 118
Jerome Isma-ae 120
David Vendetta 122
Sander Kleinenberg 167
First State 174
Danny Tenaglia 192
Fady Ferraye 235
Danny Howells 294
Nic Chagall 311
Nick Warren 353
Glenn Morrisson 379
Satoshi Tomiie 393
Timo Maas 459
Said Mrad 11462
Check out the full list here =)
The KING and the runner-up’s calls for fans to vote =P
Tron is a 1982 sci-fi movie that best illustrates the sentiments and aspirations people of the time had for the prospect of computers, computer programs and later the internet. The movie back then was renowned for the incredible graphics incorporated into the now-ancient movie and was one of the first big studio pictures to incorporate computer graphics so heavly.
Tron Legacy, almost 3 decades later, when computers and computer graphics have made almost anything possible, the fantastical world of Tron is revisited in mind-blowing 3D.
Italia Films invited guests to a special sneak-peak of the movie which is rumored, and I’m now convinced, will make Avatar look like child’s play. The screening was a selection of scenes from the as of yet incomplete movie set to be released mid-December. The 23 minutes had everyone in the audience speechless.
The blend between real elements and computer-generated imagery was immaculate. The colors, texture, depth, sounds and behavior of the digital environment are hard to describe.
The movie’s fan base can be described as religiously fond of the franchise which has already spawned several video games, comic books and soon a series (apart from the anticipated sequel of course).
I can’t really spoil the film for you cause we just got to watch a few scenes. However, what I can tell you is that this is, by far, the best 3D CGI movie I’ve ever seen. What I can also tell you is that special techniques to recreate a younger Jeff Bridge’s face based on the original Tron is a pioneering accomplishment used for the first time in a motion picture. In other words, you see the present Jeff Bridges, and the 30-year younger one in the same movie…
Another great thing about the movie is that the main woman of Tron is Olivia Wilde (number 13 in House MD), adding even more visual perfection to the digitally simulated world…
Tron will be released on 23 December in the US and other parts of the world, Lebanon and Dubai will be among those displaying the movie on the 23rd. I don’t always encourage people to watch a movie, but this one, you cannot miss… I’m serious… And, for once, the 3D experience actually enhances the movie instead of just burdening your eyes with the awkward glasses.
My Rating: 10/10
Here are the trailers for the 1982 movie and the 2010 sequel
Horror movies are my specialty when it comes to movies. So, naturally, Devil was on my agenda (and Caren had to make up for not taking me to b018)
Movies that happen in a small space, like Colin Farrel’s “Phonebooth” or Tom Hank’s “Terminal” are very hard movies to make in my opinion. Therefore, if they manage not to bore me, they’re awesome by me. This movie happens in an elevator, with five different people getting stuck in it.
I’m gonna spoil it for you, they die one by one and only one miraculously survives. It’s supposed to revolve around a myth that when someone commits suicide, those in the vicinity and that deserve punishment, will be killed by Satan before he takes his souls.
If you’re a fan of demonic possession and horror stories that involve God, Satan and spirits, you should love this movie.
For me, the movie was ok, but I’m definitely forgetting it in a couple of weeks… DVD it is my opinion (the upside is that it’s not 3D)
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
My Rating: 5/10
Donner Sang Compter needs no introduction. The NGO promoting responsible citizenship through blood donation and awareness has expanded to include most Lebanese territories. Day by day, more and more volunteers sign up with thousands of lives already saved thanks to the generosity of our donors and the commitment of our members. Here’s a 10-month-old entry about DSC.
DSC is of course a non-profit organization and therefore relies heavily on fundraising and donations. This halloween, DSC is holding a costume party at Beirut’s Chocolate Club. The entrance is $40, with 3 drinks! The numbers for info and reservations are listed above on the poster.
However, promoting this party for a noble cause is not my only purpose for this post…
Michel Karsouny is a fellow blogger who is also a DSC member. Michel was never the most fit of people (better than myself of course) and some two months ago, he decided to conduct an experiment demanding exceptional will-power and unfathomable perseverance, with his own body! Michel set a goal for himself: to look like 300′s King Leonidas in just 65 short days!
Day number 65 is this Friday, and he will be hitting Chocolate Club dressed as, you guessed it, Leonidas! Will he be able to meet his goal of looking like the legendary King of Sparta? I’ll find out this Friday and let you know =)
Here’s Michel’s Blog
This is the DSC event
See you all there =)
Those who know me will understand the special bond between me and this underground, cryptic Beirut club. Buried in an uninspiring dark alley, away from everything mainstream and safe from any form of vanity, the Basement is more than a club, the Basement is a movement.
The man behind it all is Jade. Jade’s musical career includes the first Rock band to be signed in the Middle East with an international label and lending his vocal talents to Jazz. With a deep knowledge of different kinds of music, Jade is able to create, mix and play a type of house and tech-house that transcends the genres of mortal music. Blindfolded, the Basement lover will know when Jade hits the decks. No person is complete on his own though, and in Jade’s case, Diamond Setter is the jewel incrusted in the sceptre that is the Basement’s legacy.
From meters underground, to playing alongside legends in stadium events, Jade and Diamond Setter have introduced the rest of the world to the Basement. Their best though, remains buried underground for the select few who knew their music inside-out. Knowing the genre so intimately though, never stopped the Basementers from being delighted to hear a new twist, new tracks and live performances.
You’d think the Basement is an exclusive, elitist venue. It’s not. The Basement welcomed all, did not bother with strict dress-codes that make people look stupid and desperate and as long as you were legally allowed to be there, you were most welcome anytime.
The Basement has been open for six whole years. No other club can boast such consistent pleasing of people, without changing name/management/location.
I keep referring to the Basement in the past-tense, and you will pardon me for the tense changes throughout this post.
For those of you who have never been to the Basement, you’d better hurry up and not just take my word for it. January 10th is the day the Basement will be torn down to make way for a new tower. For those of you who are too ignorant and wouldn’t take the chance to try something different from what they’re used to, here’s how the Basement looks and feels like.
After going down the steps you see above, Zalfa usually greets you to the Basement. You either have a table booked, buy a ticket or simply go in depending on what’s happening that night. Immediately to your left, a flight of stairs leads to a steel catwalk that extends all the way to the bar, passing above the toilets’ entrance. That is where countless photographers took pictures and vidoes of the rituals that took place there, for their university projects, work plans and just for the beauty of it.
Immediately in front of you, you see the 5 couch-clad tables. They’re for when you have a lot of friends there with you, and above them towards the right, is another catwalk, only this one is marble and ideally created for you to dance. A couple of steps under the couches area, another row of smaller tables runs through the length of the Basement. It’s for when you don’t want too much company, and a handful of Basementers and maybe newbies is enough. In front of that row, there is a small stage where you can dance and not care what people think. Where you can see the whole club moving, and the whole club can see you moving.
More to the left, you can find the bar. A long bar lined with the finest, most diverse selection of alcohols from around the world. Behind the bar though is the real treat. Huge, antique mirrors hang from a traditional stone facade lined with candlesticks. The wall is beautiful. It personifies Lebanese architecture perfectly and reminds us that this place is just a Basement, and not a posh, polished, uptight venue.
The ceiling is also characteristic of this magnificent club. A huge, beautiful chandelier dangles from an empty upper chamber lined with intricate, geometric wallpaper. A few meters away, a disco ball revolves above revelers’ heads, reminding us that even though the place is a Basement, it is the Basement, the club. The rest is plain concrete, left as it was right after being poured into the molds. Except for a streak of red cushions, that protect dancers from the rugged surface, and offer plasma TVs that will project the infamous logo, or any other visual enhancement to the audio paradise.
Now, we come where the magic happens. The Holy of Holies. The DJ booth. The aloft, out-of-the-way chamber is kin to a preacher’s pedestal. In fact, to me, this is as spiritual as it gets. The music, the state of consciousness it induces, the people, the place, everything comes together to produce what I call the Basement. When the music is getting serious though, the set moves downstairs, near the stage. The machines and computers sometimes do not fit upstairs, and genius cannot be confined. It also enhances the interaction between the DJ and the crowd. In other words, when Jade or any other DJ is downstairs, you know it’s going to be a good night.
With all my talk about Jade and Diamond Setter, you’d think they were the only ones. They weren’t. The Basement hosted hundreds of the world’s best talents over the last six years. Every week, a DJ or two from abroad would hit the decks and experience the Basement as the Basement experience him or her. The most frequent DJs here from abroad were Lebanese-born Fady Ferraye, AliXander and Russian DJ Bestov. This month only, saw four international sensations at the Basement.
I feel there is no way I can live up to the Basement’s essence and legacy through my writing. This was just blurting what I had on my mind. You have a handful of weekends left, make sure you take advantage of that. This place is where I lived my most memorable moments, the good, the bad and the simply divine. If I had other engagements, I’d make sure I pass by on my way back home, to soak up the music, the positive vibe and the pure awesomeness.
One thing I have learned is a secret I am sharing… The candles in the Basement are always alight, except when Jade is about to hit the decks, they’re turned off… Tip for newbies, when you feel extremely happy and adore the music, it’s Jade, but just to double-check look at those candles
Also, the best kind of drink? Vodka + Red Bull + Halls (Wadih can probably hook you up! =D)
The BASEMENT at the DOME. The historic nights in Beirut’s old, abandoned theater…
Do not despair though, for even though the Basement will “rest in peace” on January 9th, the guys are moving to a new place with a different concept. It’ll be the same spirit though, and I have confidence in the Basement team and am sure what’s coming will only be better!
Intentional if you ask me
Post created, edited and published via my google android galaxy s
Today, while on my way to the Outlook weekly meeting, I got detoured by my tweep Aline into West Hall Bathish. A UNICEF representative was giving a lecture about the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). the MDGs are 8 “goals” the world in its entirety ought to be working on achieving by 2015. To know more, go to the UN’s official MDG page. Basically, the MDGs seek to end poverty and hunger, educate the world, empower women, improve maternal health and other issues which concern humanity as a whole.
The lecturer provided very insightful information which got me thinking a lot. For a Lebanese person, living here for more than a decade and involved in society, a foreigner who has been here for “13 months, 3 days, an hour and few minutes” as he said, helped me understand our problem(s) like never before.
First, Lebanon is a country of 13 million with only 3.9 million actually living in the country. The other 9 million though, contribute 25% of our total national GDP. We all boast that we are super-awesome abroad but for some unexplainable reason, suck horribly in Lebanon. This proves this is somewhat true, and that there is a sort of up-side to Lebanese migration abroad. The UN executive then concluded that Lebanon’s wisest investment would be in education and migration of its citizens. Not exactly the grandman-friendly investment, but brutally true…
We often label ourselves, and are labeled, as a “third world country.” But are we really? The numbers say different. Lebanon’s estimated GDP per capita is some 8131.50 USD/year/individual. Romania’s is some 7723.00 USD, and Latvia’s is in the 11000 USD range. What this means? If we were in the European continent, we’d fit right in… As for other indicators of ‘development’ such as deaths per 1000 live births, Lebanon has decreased infant mortality rate over 30% in little over 6 years: a monumental effort towards the better.
The positive information continues, with Lebanon’s GDP being a solid 26.3 billion USD in 2008 and over 75 billion USD in bank reserves, that generated an estimated 8.2 billion USD in bank sector profits over the past 12 years. Estimated growth in 2010 is an impressive 7.0%. Apart from that, we are a prominent services provider in the region, with health, education and tourism sectors attracting international and regional interest (as much as 10K-15K USD/arab tourist)
Here’s where thing get as he put it ‘peculiar’.
Lebanon’s debt is between 151-160% of the GDP. 80% of that debt is held by private banks. What this means is that the private sector in Lebanon is financing the public sector… A peculiar case indeed. The private sector also generates 45% of the electricity in Lebanon. Here’s the most peculiar part though: contrary to established laws, some 5.2 million tons of fuel are imported by the private sector.
25% of the national budget is dedicate to the social services sector. But only 0.05-0.10 of every dollar is actually spent by the public sector itself. Out of 109.2 billion LBP, 102.5 billion LBP is given out to NGOs. In other words, the private sector provides social security and services, funded by the public sector, which in turn is originally funded by the private sector. Cool cycle, huh?
As for health service, 80-90% of healthcare services in Lebanon are provided by the private sector. 70% of the funds allocated to the healthcare sector end up in only 110 hospitals across Lebanon, and usually not the hospitals in the poorer areas. So, even the healthcare system is a privately run, public sector.
I’m not going to get into the education sector cause I didn’t take down the numbers, but here’s what I got:
70% of students go to private schools, something that is not the norm around the world, where public schools usually have the bigger share (much bigger share in fact). But with the absence of an education-quality-control body or system, there is no way to guarantee the education we are getting is up to the standards.
So, in those few minutes, the UN rep, whose name I forgot, made so many things clear… The conclusion to me (which he didn’t say of course)? It’s that with all the NGOs and private businesses running all the public sector, there is plenty of room for corruption, money laundering and wasteful spending… Our dilemma in a nutshell.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I’m not a socialist, nor a communist. I believe in the free-market system and am generally in agreement with rightist economic and social policies. But in a country lacking transparency, the free market might not be so free..