Mideast tweeps use trending hashtag to flood Twitter with selfies

The hashtag is still going strong on Twitter. (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
Updated 23 August 2017
0

Mideast tweeps use trending hashtag to flood Twitter with selfies

DUBAI: Arabs from across the world are using the typo-riddled hashtag #MiddleEasternsBreakTheInternet to share selfies and other photos in a bid to go viral.
The hashtag, which should read “Middle Easterners” instead of “Middle Easterns,” is still going strong with people around the world using it to share selfies, snaps of food and photographs of their daily life.
“This hashtag is grammatically incorrect but (I'm going to) join in anyway,” one person posted, before sharing a flurry of selfies.
Despite the jarring grammar, Twitter users from the Arab world and the wider Middle East flooded the social media platform with close ups and full-length shots.


Chip Wickham ushers in winds of change on the jazz scene

Updated 22 May 2018
0

Chip Wickham ushers in winds of change on the jazz scene

PARIS: The hotly hyped “British jazz invasion” has been the toast of international scenesters for some months now, with breathy adjective-heavy sprawls penned on both sides of the Atlantic paying tribute to a fresh generation of musos who grew up not in the conservatoires but the clubs, channelling the grit and groove of grime into a distinctly hip, 21st century strain of freewheeling, DIY improvised music.

Now the Arab world has its own outpost in the form of Chip Wickham, a UK-born flautist, saxophonist and producer whose second album grew out of extended stints teaching in the GCC. “Shamal Wind” takes its name from the Gulf’s primal weather patterns, and there’s a distinctly meditative, Middle Eastern vibe to the title track, a slow-burning, moody vamp, peppered with percussive trills, with hints of Yusef Lateef to be found in Wickham’s wandering woodwind musings.

There’s rather less goatee-stroking to be found across the four further up-tempo cuts, which swap soul-searching for soul-jazz, soaked in the breezy bop of a vintage Blue Note release. Recorded over a hot summer in Madrid, a heady Latin pulse drives first single, “Barrio 71” — championed by the likes of Craig Charles — with Spanish multi-percussionist David el Indio steaming up a block party beat framing Wickham’s gutsy workout on baritone sax.

Having previously worked with electronic acts, including Nightmares on Wax and Jimpster, one imagines the dancefloor was a key stimulus behind Wickham’s rhythmically dense, but harmonically spare compositional approach. Phil Wilkinson’s sheer, thumped piano chords drive the relentless nod of second single “Snake Eyes,” Wickham’s raspy flute floating somewhere overhead, readymade to be skimmed off for the anticipated remix market.

In truth, Manchester-raised Wickham is both too thoughtful, and too thoughtless, to truly belong to the London-brewed jazz invasion — Shamal Wind yo-yos between meditative meandering and soulful strutting with a wilful disrespect for trend.