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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 October 2018

A club night in Dubai where you get to hear the unexpected

Two artists in Dubai are starting the region's first club night dedicated to sound art next month.
Simon Coates hopes to give visitors to Tse Tse Fly a different sort of experience. Zahra Jewanjee
Simon Coates hopes to give visitors to Tse Tse Fly a different sort of experience. Zahra Jewanjee

Dubai’s Tse Tse Fly offers something new to the region: a club night dedicated to sound art and experimental noise.

The first event next month at Ibis Hotel in Al Barsha will feature pieces from local artists, including the Saudi Arabian Ghada Da and Karim Sultan, a Canadian music producer, who also works at The Third Line gallery.

Expect to hear the unexpected from this eclectic-sounding event, curated by Simon Coates and Ram Nath, artists with an interest in boosting the home-grown scene.

Their aim is to give visitors a different sort of experience, a kind of alternative to the commercial club scene in the UAE. Last year in January, Coates, a former gallery manager at Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (Ductac), curated Peace in an Open Space, the first exhibition solely for sound art in the UAE.

During that time, he also commissioned artists to make one-off pieces of art. “Tse Tse Fly is in some ways a continuation of the work I was doing with the commissions,” he says. “The final piece I commissioned before I left was a very inconspicuous manhole cover installed in the reception area by an American artist called Johnny Farrow.”

Farrow, a technical instructor of visual arts at New York University Abu Dhabi, is a multidisciplinary artist who is interested in installation. He will perform a one-hour live sound and interactive video piece at the first Tse Tse Fly event. Coates, whose artist pseudonym is A Taxi for My Uncle, will be up next, performing an hour-long set of Jamaican dub music.

“I feel that dub as a genre is one of the most important genres and as it came out of experimenting with sound and space, it makes it an appropriate choice.”

Coates and Nath have no expectations of how the night will unfold.

“We want to show people that art can live and breathe outside of a formal atmosphere,” Coates says. “Since we had the idea, it has been gathering pace. It is important to note that we are only playing with the idea of a club night, rather than trying to produce a carbon copy of what already happens in Dubai. There are no rules on who should be there and who shouldn’t – it is free and in a central location with the only aim being to allow people to enjoy sound art.

“Also, if I’m totally honest, this whole idea started because I couldn’t find anywhere I wanted to go in the evenings in Dubai. I wanted to have a situation where I could get friends together, to socialise and talk and wouldn’t have to hear commercial house or pop music. There is very little alternative to that kind of evening here, so Tse Tse Fly will hopefully add another dimension to the social scene.”

Tse Tse Fly is on September 18 from 7pm to 10pm at Casa Latina, Ibis Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai. Entry is free for all

aseaman@thenational.ae