Assembling an ambitious bricolage of taut, percussive tech house and swinging, free jazz influences, Hourani brings the folkloric roots of his Eastern upbringing into the world of contemporary house music. Marked by a passion for seamless engineering and minimalistic flair, his releases thrum with the organic liveliness that comes from a passion for uncharted sonic exploration.
Born in Jordan, Hourani developed a club presence at an early age, building a formidable reputation in clubs from Lebanon to Beirut. Drawn to Montreal in 2009 to pursue a degree in electronic sound engineering at Musitechnic Institute, Hourani would go on to teach at the same Institute later in life, while honing the intricacies of sound engineering with his own fascination for vinyl culture and dance music. Hourani would go on to tweak his own strain of minimal, overweight low end and deep house soul through his Anoma label, including a much-lauded 2014 collaboration with Amsterdam house pioneer San Proper. Hourani sought out other opportunities for collaboration, such as multiple performances with Do Mi and her textural, eloquent vocal stylings, which elegantly share sonic real estate with his tightly rolling rhythms to evoke a kind of future-soul. Hourani’s first full length album Jazz of the Machine shows two impulses at work—a near-obsessive attention to the science behind programmed drum machines' frequencies and algorithms, and jazz's freewheeling improvisational chaos—Ricardo Villalobos meet Miles Davis.
For his latest foray at MUTEK, Hourani will bring his latest album to life, weaving a sonic canvas of numerous organic and synthetic layers into a performance supported by a cast of musicians that includes singer Do Mi and veteran producer and bassist Ben Nevile—in which they inject oxygen straight into the veins of the machine.
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - BWR Room
WHO: Jordan-born, Montréal-based DJ, producer and sound engineer Ohm Hourani with Montréal singer Do Mi (Dominique Fils-Aimé)
STYLE: Long form, laconic tech house punctuated by traditional instruments, vocals, soul and subtle Eastern flair
LATEST: Mi Chica / Blinded 12” (2015), Triple X 12” – with San Proper (2014)
MORE: Hourani operates vinyl-exclusive label ANOMA, dedicated to the distribution of distinctive, minimalistic and organic sounds kissed with soul. In 2015, Do Mi took part in television's The Voice, making it to the semi-finals of the competition.
MUTEKs: Montréal: 2014
Arriving from the Middle East, Hourani infuses his music with a global sense of the folkloric and the technoid. His productions unfold with a long form minimalist’s patience, snippets of traditional Eastern percussion, vocal chants and jazz gurgle throughout, punctuated by live instrumentation and singing, including recent live and recorded work with Do Mi.
Honing his early club chops in Jordan and Lebanon, Hourani made a fairly seamless transition into Montreal’s local scene where he is now firmly ensconced, organizing regular nights like Art House and brokering international names on his bills. With an audio engineering background in tow, he furthered his studies at Montréal's Musitechnic Institute, where he received a diploma in sound and studio technology – skills he employs to great effect in his burgeoning production resumé. He's been releasing records since 2011 and running his own label ANOMA, which has also featured a release with San Proper. He continues to seek out collaboration: his latest pairs him with Do Mi’s understated vocal style, deeply rooted in classic 40s-60s jazz and soul. Hourani made the leap from DJing to live performance a couple of years ago and his career continues to expand with frequent bookings taking him all over the world and back again.
Following up on his 2014 appearance at MUTEK, Hourani presents AL/VE, an exclusive new set celebrating the unity of archaic machines and modern man, with Do Mi joining him in the festival’s finale position in the underground Salle BWR.
Esplanade de la Place des Arts
Four years ago, skilled sound engineer Ohm Hourani moved from Jordan to Montréal, heeding a strong calling to pursue electronic music production. After cutting his teeth at a number of famed Middle Eastern electronic haunts (Beirut’s B018 chief among these), Hourani brought his traditional tech-house practice to North American shores, rapidly garnering a massive fan base and support from local institutions such as Stereo. His worldly, groovy minimalism has found a home on labels such as Bad Pony Records, Microzoo and Mile End Records. His latest project I-ON is a sumptuous aural expedition that casts eyes and ears on culturally significant folkloric music samples from across the globe – a soul-striking Om chant (India), an ancient Oud recording (Morocco) or a remix of Latin jazz great Rubén Blades (Panama), to name but a few. Woven together with Hourani’s seamless engineering and trademark minimalism, I-ON will be presented at EM15 alongside a far-reaching storyboard of vibrant images that take us to the geographical origins of showcased sounds.