Hunched down in front of a DJ console, Yousef Anastas assiduously manages the decks, preparing the mix and adjusting the atmospherics of the ambient track he is playing. It is haunting and trance-like: the drone-like synthesiser he has programmed melds into the repeated strumming of an oud – a Middle Eastern stringed instrument – with increasing intensity. It feels as if it is urgently attempting to break free within the mix. It seems like an apt sonic metaphor for life in the 33-year-old’s native Palestine.
Yousef is performing this set together with several other Middle East-based DJs for Sonic Liberation Front, a months-long broadcast intended as a collective artistic show of support for Palestinian liberation.