ThePlace: Mount Sela, a tourist attraction in the Jazan region of Saudi Arabia

Techno Therapy aims to introduce Saudis to local and international talent for cultural exchange

RIYADH: On Friday, Desert Sound Entertainment returned with another unique Techno Therapy lineup, headlined by British Lebanese label founder, radio personality, DJ and producer Nicole Moudaber in Riyadh.

At the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, the event welcomed Saudi crowds long after midnight in anticipation of Moudaber, one of the biggest names in the electronic music industry.

Moudaber mesmerized the audience with deep house dance and electronic music, leaving the crowd singing along for an encore. His performance was preceded by local DJs B-Hydra, Psykey, ANT, DishDash and Moses playing back to back with Don Edwardo.

“In fact, we play with the best techno DJs in Riyadh alongside legend Nicole Moudaber. It’s an honour, to be honest, to be in a lineup like this,” B-Hydra DJ Mohammed Bahaidrah told Arab News.

The techno DJ and producer kicked off the night with his second public performance with Desert Sound, playing back-to-back with fellow DJ Psykey.

QUICKFACTS

• B-Hydra DJ, Mohammed Bahaidrah, through his podcast ‘The Quantum Singularity’, spotlights various DJs, with a focus on local talent within the Kingdom.

• Desert Sound Entertainment’s initiative, following their first Mars Escape event in May, aims to build communities through art, culture and music by presenting unique experiences.

Bahaidrah said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout at the opening performance.

“People like something different, they like something unique. Techno has many sounds. For me, I see techno as a way to express yourself, and I think that’s why people like it. It’s different,” he said.

While the electronic music scene has only recently been showcased in Saudi Arabia through different platforms and events, the passion for it is anything but new.

Bahaidrah, through his podcast “The Quantum Singularity”, spotlights various DJs, with a focus on local talent within the Kingdom.

“Every DJ has a different type of sound, techno or any other genre,” he said. “That’s why the aim of the podcast is to showcase different talents that are coming here to Arabia. The world needs to see that.

Fellow DJ Psykey, also known as Hussam, began his musical journey in 2006, venturing into psychedelic trance music before discovering the various subgenres techno has to offer.

He has adjusted his sound to find a unique medium, psy-chill, that caters to the tastes of Saudi audiences. “I found that the crowd here in Riyadh doesn’t like psy-trance. They’re into electronics, like techno or house or groove, dark music, but not as dark as psy-trance. So, I created a new sound, mixing techno and psychedelic sounds,” he told Arab News.

Supported by various aspects of entertainment, including live graffiti art, festival face painting stations and music advertising platforms, Techno Therapy aims to expose Saudi audiences to local and international talent and create opportunities for cultural exchange.

“There’s a lot of talent hidden here, but what we’re seeing now is the door opening for them, introducing them to the public,” Psykey continued.

“I’m sure there’s more to come for the future of the techno scene,” he said.

Desert Sound Entertainment’s initiative, following their first Mars Escape event in May, aims to build communities through art, culture and music by presenting unique experiences.

Dedicated to shedding light on electronic music in Arabia, company owner Ayman Al-Zurayer has collaborated with arts hub Diriyah Biennale. He said the community around him is what keeps people coming back.

“In fact, I look forward to the future and hope that we will become one of the strongest and most important entertainment companies here in Saudi Arabia,” he told Arab News.

After getting to know the techno scene abroad, Al-Zurayer hoped to one day bring it back to his home country of Saudi Arabia. The organizer was an electrical engineer before quitting his job to devote himself to entertainment.

“During this journey, there are ups and downs that you face, and it can hurt at times. In fact, it forces you to go further, to learn from people and experiences. You build and you continue.

“I hope one day we will do something here in Arabia that everyone will remember,” he said.

Keith P. Plain