Get to know... the incredible DJ and Producer Jamal Sul, AKA Moving Still. Based in Dublin, Sul has recently dropped a DJ Mag feature and mix, holds down regular shows on Dublin Digital Radio and Palestine's Radio Alhara and has an enviable back catalogue of EPs and edits. And while your first impression on meeting Jamal is to question how one person can be so infuriatingly prolific, any envy soon melts away as you get to know this warm and kind hearted person.
We are delighted to present this excellent mix and interview from an artist that you should definitely be paying close attention to.
Tell us about this mix, and explain what beverage we need to pair with it…
Since the mix series was for Rye Wax, I thought it would be fun as a play on words to focus on recent digs of slow Algerian Rai jams for the first 30 minutes. I usually record mixes quite soon after I’m asked because I get so excited to choose the songs and it means I don’t end up overthinking it. With my sets, I like to send people home with a smile on their faces, so this mix goes on a journey towards faster pace Arabic inspired disco, new beat and Italo bits to end on a high.
This is to be paired with a lovely glass of San Peli ginger beer and a slice of lime! Make sure to use a tumbler and add some ice.
You’re from Jeddah! So exotique. What’s one thing you miss about Saudi, and Jeddah in particular?
Yes indeed, in Saudi I’m known as a Jedawi! Luckily I held onto my accent too!
I miss my sister Mariah and my brother Hassan so much! We try to talk most days via video call to keep in touch. I just can't wait to hug them.
But most of all I miss Al Baik, it's a Saudi fried chicken fast food chain. Thinking about it makes me drool!!!! Interesting fact about the owner of Al Baik is that he wanted to have a fast food chain that was affordable. He also gives free meals to the poor on a regular basis. He used to give 1 Saudi Riyal to charity for every box sold, and after he died his kids followed that tradition. Honestly, if you’ve traveled to Saudi and haven’t had Baik, you’ve 100% wasted your trip!
You’ve spoken eloquently in the past for the need for respect when doing edits- what’s one piece of advice you have as a seasoned edit producer (or one thing you wished people did)?
I think it's important for people who do edits to give the utmost respect to the original artist, because at the end of the day it's their song. The one thing I would always say to everyone doing edits is to try to seek consent from the artist or the original label. Sometimes that is super difficult and you might not ever get a response, but it's essential to try. Also it is important to understand what the message is from the song, and if it is a track that is not from your own heritage asking a friend from that culture is important too.
You’ve been known to totally recreate instrumental parts for your edits, which is fairly staggering. What’s the furthest length you’ve gone to for an edit?
Thank you! That honestly means a lot! I have recently been invited to work on a song where some of the elements of the song are completely lost in the background and it's hard to bring them to the front unless you have stems. I ended up recreating everything, from the drums, pads, leads, and bass, to give it the feeling originally intended but for the modern day dance floor. I am excited for people to hear it, just waiting for the label to give me the thumbs up!
One could say the lengths you go to, in terms of digging especially, would draw comparisons to someone like Josh Cheon of Dark Entries Records. Who is one of your personal favourite deep diggers and why?
Nabihah Iqbal will always be one of my favourite humans/ musicians/diggers. I have been a huge fan of Nabihah’s NTS show for so many years and she always delivers superb eclectic mixes. She was the first person to give me an opportunity to play for her NTS show back in 2017. I can't even begin to tell you how many doors she's opened for me because of her support. Nabihah if you're reading this thank you from the bottom of my heart!
She is very inspiring and always does incredible mix specials. She is super informative and shares her knowledge about different music genres and cultures. As well as being a music nerd, she knows so much about history and I've already asked her to bring me on a history tour to Leighton House in London when things go back to normal.
Another favourite digger is Moataz, aka Disco Arabesquo. He finds amazing Arabic cassette belters! His cassette collection is incredible and as far as I know he still has a whole case of cassettes he hasn't even touched yet. He is such a lovely guy and a great friend - I’m hoping we can visit Egypt together to go on a massive cassette dig!
We are constantly sharing music with each other, and it's always nice to see what he finds. It almost turns into some friendly competition of who can find the biggest belter!
Take us digging in Dublin please. Where are we going? And obviously, you owe us a post digging lunch or tea, so where are we doing that and what are you ordering for us?
Ok so firstly we are going to drop into All City Records to have a quick dig and say hello to the All City crew (they are a lovely bunch). Then we are going to walk over to UMI Falafel for a light lunch, because it's absolutely banging!
Once we are done, we will head towards a coffee spot called Kaph to grab a nice flat white, to keep us going for our little tour around Dublin!
Then we’ll have a pit stop in Grogan’s pub which is known to have the best Guinness in Dublin, and then head towards Hang Dai restaurant for a meal. We’ll have the Kung Po chicken and vegetable fried rice if you're not veggie or vegan, and then stay there for the music, which mostly will be played by us! Hang Dai is one of my favourite spots to eat and to play as the sound system there is gorgeous!
You make a lot of music with Minos… Talk us through that. What is your studio dynamic like? Who makes the tea etc?
Love this question! So myself and Minos always end up making music at his place! I have no idea why, but will have to have a word with him about this haha. So we usually arrive, and have a small bit of food, he usually has something ready to eat which is fantastic and I won’t say no to that.
Then he will make a massive jug of coffee, while I have a lovely cup of tea because too much caffeine makes me panic. We then head into the studio and usually one of us would have an idea or concept that we want to work on. Liam aka Minos is a dark lord of techno so he does some mad nerd stuff to get everything sounding like I have just arrived into the middle of a Dune book. We both work incredibly fast, and most of the time will have a song finished that evening. I would catch the last bus home, and probably listen to the song we just made 20 times, then we text each other to see if we need any more tweaks.
Give us your top 3 “brown people” disco/italo bangers.
Simone - Ana Nadetac
I am literally in love with Simone, she is the queen of western covers! Her videos are also so well choreographed! This is such a sick cover of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita.
Moustafa Amar - Habeb Hayaty
I love this song so much! I have been meaning to do a fun edit with just for gigs, haven't gotten around to it! I literally still have a CD that I would have ripped it when I was 14. The energy of this song is amazing! The video is incredibly naff!
Zekra - Ashar Maa Sertak
This is a new one I recently discovered, and I just love the chord progression and the singing. It's a slow jam, but that guitar and Zekra singing is so beautiful.
Laila Ghofran - Mehtaga Atghayar
I picked this one up on cassette in August 2019 and it was still in its plastic cover, and it's such a little weapon!
I gave four here just in case you wanted to have more choice, I love them all lol.
What are your post-pandemic hopes for Dublin’s nightlife scene?
I hope it's exactly the same, because the nightlife community is so tight and there is so much unconditional love and friendliness when you are out and about. Dublin is so small that you are bound to run into someone you know! It's hard to get away from everyone hahah!
The only thing I am really looking forward to is that the government will be moving to extend the opening hours of pubs and venues post Covid, and that is something I am really excited about.
Photo by Cait Fahey
Moving Still's latest EP Tafadal is available via his Bandcamp page.