Boiler Room recently traveled to Palestine for the streaming brand's debut party there, which is online now.
While in the troubled region, the crew spoke with techno DJs, hip hop producers and Arabic rappers to document the difficult and often oppressive reality these musicians face for their new documentary, Palestine Underground.
The 25-minute film takes place primarily in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the West Bank region, and opens with a scene of local DJ and producer Oddz sneaking over the wall from Ramallah to play Anna Loulou in Jaffa, one of Israel's few nightclubs, which is described as a place where "everyone is welcome." Well, except Israeli soldiers.
From there it cuts between interviews with members of the Jazar Crew, a hip hop outfit whose first party happened to take place on the night of Egypt's Arab Spring in 2011, and Sama', Palestine’s first techno DJ. She's credited with introducing Detroit and Berlin techno sounds to Palestine.
Living in what he calls a “stagnant” political situation, the "godfather of underground hip hop scene in Ramallah," Muqata’a sees his music as a "disruption" to the status quo. Which is dire—Israel has for decades pursued a policy of building Jewish settlements in Palestine, including the West Bank and Gaza.
Music is therefore a "therapy for the Palestinian identity crisis," a way of peacefully rebelling against a regime that they see as pursuing the systematic erasure their culture.
“We resist in our music, together we are the revolution,” an interviewee says.
There's also a succinct historical explanation early on in the film, so anyone not well-versed in the region's complicated past won't feel lost.
Palestine Underground will be released via Boiler Room on October 30th, 2018.
Watch the Boiler Room DJ set from Sama' below.