Lebanon: Music producer called in for “investigation”



Music producer called in for “investigation”

A Lebanese composer of Dark Ambient music is to be investigated on 2 June 2006 at the headquarter of the General Security department in Beirut, his music being categorised as “satanic” and “offensive to people’s morals” 

Osman Arabi, 24 – also known as Xardas – is a composer of Dark Ambient music, based in Tripoli, Lebanon. He composes Industrial / Noise / Ambient music, and in April 2006, he released an album for one of his projects, 20.SV. The album is entitled ‘Acid Vomit.Human Genocide’.  

He usually receives many packages through mail from all corners of the Earth which contain music CDs of various genres and messages.

“Most of the times those CDs do not reach me,” he says. “Instead, I get an empty package with a letter from the General Security stating that the items in the mail were taken as being “illegal”, “satanic” and fall under the category of Heavy Metal music. I tend to ignore this, though… and even ignore the fact that Heavy Metal music is banned in this country, and also ignore the fact that the Industrial and Dark Ambient genres are not in stock in any local stores in the country.
Lately, after many years of composing and having several albums of mine being released on tapes through some “underground” foreign labels, I have managed to have a deal with a label located in the USA that deals almost exclusively with Dark Ambient / Noise / Industrial music. In a series of multiple, professionally produced CD-releases of my albums and recordings, the very first CD-album came out two months ago: ‘Acid Vomit.Human Genocide’.
The label, of course, sent me a small portion of the CDs to be distributed in Lebanon. 150 CDs were sent to me through the mail. Few days ago, I was surprised to receive a paper from the General Security stating that I am to be investigated on 2 June 2006 at the headquarter of the General Security department in Beirut. The reason was that my CD was categorised as “satanic” and “offensive to people’s morals”. I was even told that I am planning on ruining people’s mind with these copies. So far I have no clue what will happen to me and what will happen during this investigation.”
20.SV is an Industrial / Harsh Noise project based on “nuclear subjects” and its effects. There are no lyrics or any clear message stated. It is a project which contains nothing but instrumental, electronic music, with no lyrics or vocals. The theme of the CD is explained on the label’s web site: www.autumnwp.com where it is also possible to listen to a sample from the album.  
Osman Arabi says:
“To ban this album of mine means that they will ban all the upcoming eight 20.SV albums and all my other upcoming albums, which eventually will mean that I am not allowed to either perform live in the country or able to spread my music to other music lovers.  And please note, that I am the only person in Lebanon and most probably in the whole Middle East who is composing, performing or recording Industrial / Noise / Dark Ambient music. Of course this very fact is ignored and pretty much irrelevant to my beloved country and government.” 
“The situation is more than frustrating”, he says.  “I have no one to share this with as I fear that authorities might even take my friends to be investigated too. As a musician, these acts of censorship are simply putting my creative energies to death, thus making my life with no meaning at all, for I live for music.”

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