Hanine El Mir
On Tuesday, Nov. 21, Beirut Open Space hosted the Lebanese electronic funk band Gizzmo for the release of their debut album, “System Failure”. The band performed some tunes from the album, as well as some of their unreleased songs and covers.
Doors opened to the crowd at 8 pm, and attendees settled around as DJ Etyen played his remixes of trending pop songs. The stage did not host the typical instruments but rather held synthesizers and computers. At 9:30 pm, the opening act, one-man-band Day None, took to the stage.
During Day None’s set, behind him was a black backdrop with bright drops of light projected on it to represent stars in a dark night sky. There was another projector on top of the backdrop, projecting scenery on the wall that changed with every song. The backdrop featured a moon with clouds, stars, and spiraling abstract circles.
Day None explained his style, exclusively to Outlook, as “a mixture of everything [he] listens to, like electronic music like Jamie XX, and hip-hop and indie music.”
“It involves a lot of experimentation. I mostly start with some sort of sample and go from there,” he added, when talking about how he gets his style and composes his songs.
His faint voice whispered only a few lines during the chorus as the sounds of his keyboard overshadowed. It was clear that music was the star of his set. Everything else was additional, merely to frame and complement his experimentation with sound.
He performed four originals and three cover songs interchangeably. One of the covers was Nina Simone’s “I’m Feeling Good”, which he performed all while keeping his own style despite including more vocals.
His set was half an hour long before Gizzmo started setting up for their own performance. Gizzmo’s set featured more instruments alongside their Macbooks, keyboards and synthesizers. Their electronic, sonic sounds evoked 90s sci-fi movie feel fused with a drum beat. As the band performed, Ivan Debs, their cover designer, joined them on stage as he live drew behind them.
Gizzmo refer to themselves as a project rather than a band that combines “the power of synthesis and raw sound into a new original composition.”
They also performed their own versions of French covers like La Femme’s “Antitaxi”, and Air’s “La Femme D’argent” as well as Pond’s “Don’t Look at the Sun or You’ll Go Blind.”