Solace via Beirut

A live set from Charbel Haber and Fadi Tabbal

We live at a moment during which live performance in person is nearly absent. Solace for those who prize such pleasures comes during Zoom concerts and recordings, and sometimes the solace even manages to sound like solace. That is the sense the pervades Enfin la Nuit, a beautiful live set performed by Charbel Haber and Fadi Tabbal last September at Ahm, a nightclub in Beirut, Lebanon, the city where both musicians live.

The album’s three tracks, each roughly 11 minutes or so long, are suffused with longing. The opening piece, from which the album takes its title, goes from whisper to loud sigh, layers of what appears to be guitar pushing a collective drone to higher and higher places. “Couvre-Feu” nods at pandemic life, the title being French for curfew, and the music like a sonorous mix of sirens and barbed wire (the latter featuring as the release’s cover image). Like “Enfin la Nuit,” this second track escalates over time, achieving something piercing and fierce. The closing entry, “Chaque Rose Porte en Elle Une Petite Mort,” introduces a woman’s voice, perched on the boarder between full-blooded and ethereal, and benefits from delectable glitchy treatments throughout.

More from Haber at and from Tabbal at Last October, I hosted the premiere of Tabbal’s fifth solo album Subject to Potential Errors and Distortions.

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