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Bedouin spent the year romancing Ibiza and leading the desert sound evolution

Set the controls for Ibiza, and the heart of the sun

  • Johnny Lee
  • 22 December 2017

Bedouin are Rami Abousabe and Tamer Malki, the Brooklyn-based DJ and production duo currently leading the ‘desert sound’ evolution. Popularised at festivals such as Burning Man and Further Future, Balearic club nights like WooMooN at Cova Santa, and fully supported by top DJ/producers like Rumors boss Guy Gerber, Lee Burridge, Blond:ish and Crosstown’s Damian Lazarus, nomad beats are currently courting planet-wide interest, yet at it’s core the artsy movement remains reassuringly underexposed.

Both in the studio and in the booth, Bedouin’s melodic blend of tech hypnotism differs somewhat from the four-to-the-floor norm. Their grooves are deeper, their percussion brimming with tribal overtones. Synthesised rhythms abound, yet Bedouin’s free-flowing sonic output is largely fuelled by authentic musical instrumentation - flutes, strings, bongos, sistrums, mandolins. The result? A delicate, emotive dance music sub-genre powered by musicians rather than drum machines and repetitive loops. Check out their spellbinding Robot Heart mix from earlier this year to truly jack into the sound.

Already massive in the US (their Homecoming show at Output New York sold out in under 10 minutes, with tickets changing hands outside the club for as much as $400), Bedouin spent most of the summer romancing Ibiza, hosting a brand new weekly residency at Heart. Allied with such a young but forward-thinking venue, Rami and Tamer were able to realise their adventurous esoteric vision. “Heart was a big move,” Tamer explains. “A big step up, but the support we got from the fans and also from the industry was beyond amazing. The most time-consuming part of the project was programming the line-ups and making sure they complemented each other musically, which took six months. We didn’t really know how our Saga party would resonate with people, but it turned out really well. I think it shows that the world has an open heart and an open mind for something new.”

In August, Bedouin crowned their first full summer season in Ibiza with a stunning release; a darkened dancefloor rework of the psychedelic classic ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ by prog-rock giants Pink Floyd. “I’ve been obsessed with Pink Floyd since I learned anything about music,” Tamer says. “So has Rami. This is a track we always wanted to rework. We didn’t want to remix it or edit it. It needed to be current, and the only way to do that was to cover it. We reproduced the entire thing. And we managed to get it released on Crosstown Rebels!”

Johnny Lee is Mixmag's Ibiza correspondent

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