Constant bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings have not made life in Beirut so easy lately. If the pressures of day-to-day life weren’t enough to get you all stressed out, you now have the threat of impending danger lurking around every corner. There is a dire need for an escape, for something to get lost in and chill out to. Enter Flum: a fresh musical duo that has been making rare appearances throughout the city, playing an interesting fusion of jazz, ambient electronic music, and drum n bass.

The origins of Flum can be traced back to 2011, when Académie Libanaise Des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) advertising majors Jad Taleb and Patrik Abi Abdallah, both 24, met and found a shared love of music between them. Taleb is a keyboard player, and Abi Abdallah a drummer. The two were soon involved in a musical project called Purple Seeds, a standard band with a guitarist, bassist, and vocalist, that covered trip hop classics.

Soon, Taleb and Abdallah started jamming together, only to find they were coming out with something quite different than what Purple Seeds was doing. Taleb produced spacey melodies with the keyboard and digital sound effects, and this was complimented by Abi Abdallah’s jazz-inspired breakbeats.

Before going any further, you’re probably wondering: What is flum? What does the name even mean? “The name was spontaneous; it’s the impression that the music gave us,” says Taleb. Abi Abdallah adds: “The impression given by the word fits the impression our music gives”. Indeed, the boys are big on impression and intuition, rarely over-thinking trivial details of genre and style: “Often we’d be playing, and we’d just play what we feel like. We never set any limitations, like sticking to a certain genre, or a certain direction. We just play what we feel like,” explains Abi Abdallah.

What they felt like playing turned out to be a mixture of their shared influences, though between the two are some diverse tastes. Taleb has played in projects involving rock, jazz, funk, and electronic music and cites trip hop, drum n bass, glitch, and 60s rock as influences, while Abi Abdallah lists blues rock, heavy metal, jazz fusion, and world music as his.

Abi Abdallah’s three main inspirations are Indian drummer and percussionist Trilok Gurtu, Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison, and American jazz drummer Mark Guiliana. Taleb however could not narrow it down, mentioning the great jazz keyboardists (Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, etc.) and the first wave of electronic music (Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, etc.) as his.

(Photo via Facebook)

At the band’s last performance, they were joined onstage by local MC El Rass who was a fitting addition to their sound. When it comes to collaborations, the band’s philosophy is simple: “If it’s a good combination, we’ll make it happen,” as Taleb declared. Local acts who the two believe would fit the label of “good combinations” include electro-acoustic trio The DnB Project, Syrian post-rock group Tanjaret Daghet, Syrian-Filipino MC Chyno, and experimental electronic musician Ziad Boustani.

The pair have no inhibitions about experimentation and welcome anything that comes their way. “One of the things we always discuss are collaborations that deal with different perceptions of music. Just as much as we’d like to work with Ziad Boustani, who plays noise with pedals and such, we’d also like to try something with buzuk or oud,” says Abi Abdallah.

Unsurprisingly, the two musicians, who both have a background in animation, are looking to add some visual elements to go along with their music; elements such as installations, projections, and music videos. As for the music itself, it could be a while before you see a Flum CD on shelves (or online), as the band have opted to releasing singles or EPs for the foreseeable future. Concerning the hypothetical album, Taleb casually states: “We may not even make an album”.

Follow Flum on Facebook and their Soundcloud page.

Past Events

Flum at Yukunkun Party (DJ Mixer)


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