By: Alexandra Kinias for Digital Arabia Network.
When you first approach (virtually) renowned Moroccan sound and digital artist Abdellah M. Hassak you may not realize that he is not just another successful artist. But as go past “what” his art is, not as easy task in itself, his beginnings, his accomplishments, and his goals and ambitions, and he starts to explain how and where he gets his inspirations and what motivates him, you realize that you are dealing with a humanist with deep connections not only to his ethnic roots but to the cosmos in general.
Hassak has carved his name worldwide as the innovator and only music maker who combines Electroworld atmosphere with Moroccan culture. The electro-ethnic artist, known to his fans as Dubosmium, also keeps a dynamic music-making activity; recording and interpreting electronic music and renovating folkloric music. “Art for me in general is a way to experiment and to give a point of view by the individual to his environment, except that in my practice I often invite the current moment to meet with the archive of the past to create a single common reflection. That’s why often in my sound works there is the idea of archiving or reactivating and also in my music there is the idea of disassemble a culture to assemble it back in a current desire,” Hassak explained his concept of sound art.
Save the Last Trance for Me – FFT Düsseldorf
With a passion for music since a young age, Hassak’s journey to capture sounds started first by collecting music when he was a child. He produced his first album at his home studio and released it when he was just 20 years old. “I was always in a sound and musical experimentation, but one day I told myself to separate between producing the music and producing the sound, even though each element inspires the other.” His sound work focuses on the use of digital technology and computer coding to create a transformation and sound activity related to various concepts and approaches that allow him “to create a remixed version where the means of contemporary communication are employed to promote more sharing and to bring people together.”
Hassak listens to the world around him attentively and incorporates/utilizes the surrounding sounds in his work, which emerges in the forms of poetic and interactive performances. “My artistic work is intimately linked to the city and its heritage, whose sonorous and anarchic chaos is fertile ground for creation. Exploring the sounds in the manner of an acoustic architect, the city enables me to develop a contextual approach of sound art in relation to the dimensions of social transformations as geo-cultural,” Hassan explains what inspires his creativity. “I create my own sound narratives that question the immortalization of the moment and the memory.”
Mahattat Radio – محطات راديو · MAKAN PROJECT – THINK TANGER / 7th October 2016 (Performance in City Manifesto)
Not Casablanca, Hassak’s home town, but the city of Tangier was the subject of one of his projects. Cosmopolitan Tangier in the sixties was a literary hub. It was a “rallying point between beat generation, international and Moroccan authors such as Mohamed Choukri, Tennessee Williams, Paul Bowles, Allen Ginsberg” and others. Its rich heritage is still evident today, inspiring artists like Hassak to explore. “Tangier is a city full of stories. It is a city rich and inspiring enough, but also ambiguous. I find in this city a perfect context to reflect on the social relations between the individual or his group that unfolds through space.”
With over 30 collaborations with artists from all over the world, Dubosmium name became known worldwide in electro-ethnic sound. Hassak’s music is universal, “I do not have a particular audience for my creations,” he says. He’s not interested in personal recognition, but in a creative one. “Each work deserves recognition and rewards,” he says. Hassak is concerned more about the ability of Arab artists to present their work internationally, “For me, it is more important to have the free mobility and equal chances as other artists. This is more important than just recognition.”
Presenting his work outside of Morocco creates discussions about the sound identity and its relationship to its environment. “The sound is an immaterial expression and in my work, I try to keep a form which allows the audience to develop a new imagination and thereafter develop a collective discussion about this social relation with the space. For me personally, it’s a way to reactivate my reflection and develop my research.”
HALLE 14 | Forgotten Enlightenments | Abdellah M. Hassak, Visible/Invisible Installation
The future looks quite busy for Hassak. He is developing his research on his new project “Symphony of Cities”. His radio platform Mahattat Radio, in collaboration with other entities, will work on a rehabilitation project of architect Jean-François Zevaco’s “Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath”. On the music level, Hassak is in the final stages to produce his new album Guedra Guedra – Son of Sun. He is also launching a new label of innovative music.
Sound is important in our lives, noise is not. Unfortunately, we are living today in a world polluted by noise, among other things. “The urban soundscape generally gathers sound nuisances, and sound-induced pollutions can cause physical alterations that can range from temporary inconvenience to serious repercussions on human health and quality of life (anxiety, depression, stress, irritability or even aggressiveness, sleep disturbances, insomnia of fatigue, a decrease in concentration, effects on the cardiovascular system, acoustic trauma, etc. Sound pollution can also alter the ecosystems.
“Having art in our soundscape is of considerable importance, whatever the taste of each and every one of us is. Art has always been an innate part of human civilization, recognized for its reparative and transformative virtues. Soundscape also allows the exploitation of the artistic potential in a humanitarian and therapeutic aim,” Hassak concluded.