Tse Tse Fly Middle East started life as a club night in the Al Barsha part of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The brainchild of artist Simon Coates, it set out to break the commerciality that had the UAE’s arts scene in a stranglehold, and as a place where like-minded individuals could take time away from the often-oppressive nature of Middle Eastern life. Coates moved back to London in the summer of 2017 and registered Tse Tse Fly Middle East as a Community Interest with a remit of working with non-profit organisations and charities to highlight the social and political work they carry out.
Now, Tse Tse Fly Middle East can be found in venues around London, producing live experimental arts events that feature curated films, and live sonic and visual performances. The platform is now home to a loose collective of artists and creatives, all of whom either have roots in the Middle East, Africa or the Indian subcontinent, or who weave strong sociopolitics into their practice.
Tse Tse Fly.. can also be found online in the form of a monthly two-hour radio programme for arts station Resonance EXTRA. The programme features sound art, noise and experimental music from the Middle East and surrounding regions, and is designed in part to confound the West’s expectations of music and noise made in areas that are often overlooked or disregarded. The monthly programme is also re-broadcast on radical Moscow-based web station New New World Radio.
The mix that Coates has made for us is a distillation of the kind of music played on the Tse Tse Fly radio programme and reflects the sort of work that’s performed live by members of the Tse Tse Fly collective. Listen below.
Ti L’Afrique - Soul Sock Séga
Badawi - Horse Dance
Dub Sharma - Lajadiya
Bolbol Al-Hejaz and Soni Ahmad - Mushtaq (I’m Yearning)
Shorba - Ghaba
Hasan Hujairi - No Napoleon!
Maurice Louca - Spineless
Maya Youssef - Sapphire
The Dwarfs Of East Agouza - Rats Don’t Eat Synthesizers (Edit)
Pulpy Shilpy - Kaadal Mannan
Sinin - Sagittarius