Hanine El Mir
Local post-rock band Kozo held a concert on Sunday, Nov. 26 in Beirut Open Space, to raise funds for the release of their upcoming album.
Doors opened at 8 pm, and the night started with a playlist of indie rock and punk rock songs which were playing while the space filled up. The band took the stage at 10 pm and performed for 45 minutes, much to their audience’s dismay who wanted them to stay longer.
The audience was quite diverse in age; they were all there to support their friends, or their family members on stage, or even fans who watched the band grow over the years.
After playing two songs, they stopped to chat a bit with the audience. The vocalist asked the audience in Arabic “Do you all speak Arabic?”, and then proceeded to introduce the band.
The songs had very minimal vocals. The message is instead sent through the tempo, the bass, the beat and the tune.
Their singing involved one Arabic sentence repeated multiple times, over and over. The words became glued to each other, sounding foreign, distant, no longer Arabic.
Often the lyrics cannot be made out from the way they are being pulled out over the tune. The first song’s lyric was “mesik el kon b idak”, translating to “you hold the universe in your hand”.
Some of the songs also included soundbites like helicopters and voiceovers.
The repetitive lyrics and the added soundbites transported the listener away from where they were standing.
The band members themselves seemed to be experiencing this ‘transportation’ of sorts, which was apparent from the way the bassist was swaying along with his smooth bass line.
When asked about where this style comes from, bassist Charbel Abou Chakra told Outlook that the band started by covering different genres until they discovered their comfort zone.
“Then, we left our comfort zone to develop our style based on individual influences,” he said.
“It’s obviously a collective effort. The ideas come from two or three members then they get developed. Everyone writes their own parts.”
He also added that the “ideas” stage involves mainly him, guitarist Andrew, and keyboardist Joe, then they reach out to the rest of the band.
The songs included several bursts filled with angst that made the whole room vibrate, followed by moments of relaxation, of letting go and giving in.
Most songs involved the audience in a rollercoaster of emotions.
The album would certainly be worth picking up once it is released, to experience all these emotions. According to the band’s bassist, the album is expected to be released in mid-2018.
After the concert, the band hung out outside Memory Lane, talking to friends, checking in and catching up.