Apart from the ChehadÃ© brothers, I had never really thought about Palestine as a source of music – and certainly not electronic music. Mea culpa. Checkpoint 303 are a Franco-Palestinian-Tunisian collective that create electronic music using field recordings of life in the occupied territories. Although not overtly political, the sounds they use are often of demonstrations, bullets being fired and voices through megaphones. They combine this with snippets of news reports (most effectively in “Needle Stuck on Lebanon”). Add a touch of oud-playing and you get a rich sound with an overlay of drama.
Checkpoint 303 are about to play a number of dates in Palestine, including a special event at the Beit Hanina college in East Jerusalem for the international Fête de la Musique on June 23. Check their MySpace page for updates, or download their music on Checkpoint 303.