Culture Published on 24.03.2022

A Lebanese kind of Groove

Akram Hajj

Firmly planted behind a drum kit of toms and cymbals, Akram Hajj is the lead drummer of the Lebanese post-rock band Kinematik. Curious by nature and never satisfied with a single musical affiliation, Hajj played with various bands and musicians in genres as diverse as pop, rock, jazz, blues and reggae before the creation of Kinematik.
The post-rock quartet Kinematik was born in the Lebanese mountain village of Reyfoun in the summer of 2014. The four musicians recorded their debut album Ala’ in the spring of 2017, quickly gaining notoriety on the Beirut live circuit. They released their second album Murur Al-Kiram in the winter of 2020 for the Lebanon based indie label Ruptured.
In addition to his drumming duties with Kinematik, Hajj has recorded soundtracks for films and TV commercials. He also plays in the experimental electro-acoustic duo “Escalier B” with Lebanese electronic producer Ziad Moukarzel, and has recently embarked on a fruitful collaboration with musician and singer Nadia Daou aka NAR.

From Beirut to Luxembourg

“I always felt lucky to live in Beirut as a drummer, where I played alongside incredible musicians and collaborated with many talented artists, until the first day of the revolution… I was badly hit on my right index finger while demonstrating. It almost had to be amputated. In the first period of my recovery, dark thoughts were gaining the upper hand. One day I decided to play the xylophone with my right hand and the drums with my left, which gave a unique and interesting sound. I spent 5 months practicing the autonomy of my two hands. The right hand played the rhythmic melodies and the left hand directed the groove of the drums. Very satisfied with the result, I decided to make my first solo project and introduced some loops and bass lines on a synthesizer. Today, my musical project is a mix of live electronic sound loops on a bass station accompanied by classical melodies that surround the groove and the acoustic rhythm that I will be playing on a drum set. This project merges the new age with the old. It is inspired by the hard and hectic, but also soft and pleasant life we live in Lebanon.” Akram Hajj



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