Loopstache – if you’ve been around Beirut these past couple of months, it’s pretty hard not to have at least heard of them. They’re everywhere, and it seems as though everyone is talking about them, especially with the release of their self-titled debut album in July.

Composed of Beirut based duo Carl Ferniene and Salim Naffah, Loopstache originally started as a YouTube project in May 2013, inspired by the many musical acts gaining celebrity online, such as Pomplamoose. The two, who originally played together in a cover band, happened to run into each other at Ferniene’s studio, 2a7ad Records, where they “had a little jam, and decided to make a video on YouTube [a cover of Moby’s Natural Blues], just for the fun of it.” Surprised at the reception of the track, and all the views it managed to garner, they decided to make some more.

“The way we started creating music together through the covers we did on YouTube was a very important step, because through that, we both experimented and tried to find a specific sound, a sound that would eventually be that of Loopstache,” explained Ferniene. “We both invested in new gear, software, and instruments that changed the way we write music. We also developed our composition and production skills, as well as the way we deliver it as a live act.”


(image via Facebook)

After covering around eight songs, the duo felt confident enough in the sound they had developed to begin writing their own music, which culminated in the release of the group's album last month. It features seven tracks of eclectic genres – beginning in the 1920s, the album takes a trip through time deriving influence from each decade and making prominent stops in the 1950s, 1980s, and of course, present day music. However, the most basic facet of the album, the glue that binds it together, is their electronic sound.

For those that put down electronic music as being, “mundane” – or a synonym of the sort, you need not look further than this album to discover the sheer power that technology has had on music making. We’re talking decades of different types of music that have been worked into one album through the use of synthesizers, electronic beats, and organic harmonies. Nu-disco, nu-funk electro music that sounds like it could have come from the ‘swinging 20s’ – this album is above all a clear illustration of the insatiable effects of technology on music.


(image via Facebook)

As for the Loopstache sound, think smooth and swanky, something you’d find a Ryan Gosling type listening to at an up-scale bar for the twenty-something millennial – a perfect balance of fun and sexy. “Our music is all about having fun, enjoying life as it comes, spreading good vibes. We like to believe that it is possible to make dance music without being trashy or cheap. That's why our music is easy to the ear, and at the same time sophisticated in terms of production as a whole,” said Ferniene.

Their sound is youthful - a reflection of our eclectic times and eccentric influences - yet tingles with nostalgia. You’ve got some strong jazz undertones, scat is a prominent feature, along with 80s disco beats. In fact, it’s not very difficult to picture a sequin-clad crowd dancing under luminescent disco balls to TRACK 5.


(image via Facebook)

Another thing: Loopstache brought back the trumpet, in a big way. This is most apparent in the opening track, “Bitch Please,” which is the clear stand-out track of the album. It features refined and meticulous beats – nothing sloppy here, and sounds like something off The Great Gatsby soundtrack. And that trumpet, oh that trumpet, played by guest musician Simon Salameh, is insane; it works perfectly with the subtle guitar sound (courtesy of Karim Khnaisser) and soft drum beat. In addition, the paradox between the lyrics, which encourage the abandonment of the glitz associated with the 20s for modern day grit, and the swanky melody, add a subdued but spicy edge.

Another stand-out track is “Dance with Me,” which was co-written with and features Fareeq al-Atrash rapper Chyno. It is in line with the rest of the album's upbeat, swing-y, dance tunes, yet features a hilarious, spot on, social commentary: “Party time we born again cause Drake’s got YOLO and Druze got yalla.” TRACK 4 is the one track that deviates a little from the overall upbeat, happy sound, and goes into a more sexy, heavy, and sleek ambiance as they croon about Mrs. Daniels’ sexy time. With a burlesque direction, the distorted vocals and guitar give it a very modern edge and provide for an interesting interpretation of what a dramatic musical should sound like.


(image via Facebook)

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