Majazz Project: The Intifada 1987 vinyl release party
Over several years, Majazz Project / Palestine Sound Archive has amassed an archive of rare tapes and vinyl from Palestine and beyond, spanning field recordings of weddings to revolutionary tracks and synth-heavy 80s funk. Many of these were acquired from a former record label in Jenin in the north of the West Bank. The Majazz Project is a research project borne out of the archive, focused around sampling, remixing and reissuing vintage Palestinian and Arabic cassettes. It is a collaboration between Arab and non-Arab DJs, producers and artists interested in shedding new light on the richness and diversity of Arabic musical heritage.
Just one week after the outbreak of the First Intifada in 1987, Riad brought his sisters Hanan, Alia and Nariman together in their living room and began recording The Intifada album on equipment he had made himself. One of these was co-written with their friend, the acclaimed Palestinian writer Mahmoud Darwish.
Riad printed 3000 copies of the cassettes which he began distributing in the Old City of Jerusalem and across the West Bank. The Israeli Army immediately confiscated all the copies they could find, the vast majority of which remain in the military archives to this day. Riad was arrested, interrogated and detained for several months.
Immediately upon his release, he formed a band, Palestinian Union, and put out a new album. He then founded a school, offering kids in the West Bank an alternative musical education, teaching them how to create their own electronic equipment.
In 2005, Riad was tragically killed in a car accident. His legacy lives on through his family, his timeless music and his powerful story, which continues to inspire 34 years on from the First Intifada.
During the first lockdown of 2020, artist and music collector Mo’min Swaitat was in Jenin, in the north of the West Bank, when he met up with a family friend and former record label owner, whom he remembered from childhood. The family friend told him he no longer ran the label and that all his cassettes were now in storage and had not been played for decades. Mo’min purchased over five thousand cassettes from him, amongst them a large collection of music from the First Intifada. One of these was the Intifada 1987 album.
Kindly note: LIMITED COPIES OF INTIFADA 1987 الإنتفاضة ألبوم ١٩٨٧ WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE ON THE NIGHT
Please feel free to message us ahead to reserve a copy.
Synthia: Recalcitrant selector slinging beats like Butch Cassidy slang pistols.
Bena is a DJ, selector and a joint-founder of the Shedding Histories project based at Grow Hackney. Specialising in radical and disruptive sounds from across the globe, Bena will bring along a wide selection of addictive acoustic and electronic dance-floor grooves from a multitude of genres.