Ravey Middle Eastern techno
Philosophy, social politics, art and identity all come to the fore in Selwa Abd’s multidisciplinary practice. Based in NYC, she’s a member of the city’s forward-thinking Discwoman collective, the founder of the global music platform and publication Bizaarbazaar, and an NTS Radio regular. Somehow she also manages to find the time to DJ and make music under the guise of Bergsonist.
Bergsonist caught our ears with her sultry single ‘Heat’, which came out right at the end of 2018 on Optimo Music’s sub-label Digital Danceforce. She’s back, this time on Optimo Music proper, with the intoxicating new album ‘Middle Ouest’. It combines dizzying Middle Eastern percussion with rave rhythms and dark, minimal techno textures – Abd describes the record aas “my first sonic autobiography”.
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Abd is originally from Morocco and took the name Bergsonist from the philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s study of Bergsonism and his book ‘Le Bergsonisme’, which she read while living there. She returned to Morocco while writing ‘Middle Ouest’ and tracks such as the propulsive ‘Gaza Border Violence’ and the hypnotic ‘Amazon Snake Charmer’ are club-ready explorations of Abd’s self-identity. She has previously incorporated her own low, husky vocals into her music and this element reappears on the new album, as on the peculiarly compulsive ‘Ach Briti’. In another show of Bergsonist’s multimedia talents, she has also crafted a video out of 3D fragments to accompany the track ‘L’ algorithme’.
‘Middle Ouest’ is released by Optimo Music