Mephisto Halabi “The Arabic Room”

In the opening seconds of The Arabic Room, it’s as though Mephisto Halabi snaps his fingers and instantly transports us to his childhood home in Lebanon. Hypnotic chants and rhythms repeat before the dial is turned and a soothing voice turns up for a few moments before the dynamite explodes. Halabi is the moniker used by Philadelphia multi-instrumentalist and composer Julius Masri and on The Arabic Room, … Continue reading Mephisto Halabi “The Arabic Room”

Julius Masri is Mephisto Halabi is Julius Masri: An Interview

Julius Masri has always had a lot going on. The Lebanon-born, Philadelphia-based multidisciplinary artist and composer has studied with a laundry list of stalwarts like Elaine Hoffman-Watts, Thurman Baker, Joan Tower, Carl Mottola, and others, but ultimately creating his own compositional framework and practice. He is also known for his performances and compositional work in Philadelphia’s dance community.  All of these intertwining aspects of Masri’s … Continue reading Julius Masri is Mephisto Halabi is Julius Masri: An Interview

Track Premiere: Mephisto Halabi “Watch on the Orient”

In the opening moments of “Watch on the Orient,” the first track of Mephisto Halabi’s incredible The Arabic Room, it feels like traveling through time and space through the radio dial. Traditional music trips into a woman’s voice speaking Arabic before giving away to acid-soaked riffage. As soon as the sharp, distorted tones hit, the world blurs into a bounty of warm colors and gritty … Continue reading Track Premiere: Mephisto Halabi “Watch on the Orient”