Assembly 2024

Dis Fig / Zein Majali

Sat 23 Mar 19.00 - 20.30
Lancaster Rooms
New Wing

Presenting two new live works developed in residence at Somerset House Studios.

Dis Fig

Berlin based producer and performer Felicia Chen, also known as Dis Fig, presents a new body of work developed during a three-month residency at Somerset House Studios with the support of the Goethe-Institut London. It’s both her first full-length statement since 2019’s debut album PURGE and her first solo London headline performance to date. The live performance will lean on new processes which utilise self-made electro-acoustic instruments and improvisational channelling.

Dis Fig’s performances are fueled by her own raw vulnerability. Both violent and at times hauntingly beautiful, she tumbles dynamically through heavy emotional landscapes, traversing them using voice and electronics.

Aiding her in this journey will be drummer and producer Sam Jones, taking his influences from jazz, grime and dub to dismantle rhythms and create new skeletal experimentations within the performance. Together, Chen and Jones will exercise their individual acrobatics in conversation with one another, speaking their truths in tandem.

Dis Fig will present a further development of the Assembly premiere at CTM Festival in 2025, the material forming the basis of an upcoming full-length release.

Commissioned by Somerset House Studios and Goethe-Institut London in partnership with CTM Festival Berlin.


Dis Fig

Felicia Chen has long resisted simple categorisation. She cut her teeth operating in New York City's scrappy DIY and experimental club scenes, channelling a passion for pop music, metal, rap and global dance forms into unpredictable multi-layered DJ sets that harmonised the US East Coast's relentless noise. And when she released her debut album PURGE on the PTP imprint in 2019 it substantiated her artistic voice, refining her vast pool of influences into a cathartic distillate that oozes between vulnerable beauty and retching chaos. As a DJ she's become notorious for her curiosity and restless energy, but as a live performer she edges away from the club completely, using her acrobatic voice and entire body to transmit emotional complexity.


Sam Jones

Sam Barrell Jones is a south east London based drummer, producer and DJ best known for his work with Mercury Prize shortlisted saxophonist Nubya Garcia, Binker Golding and as Musical Director and drummer for Obongjayar. He has performed with artists including Sons of Kemet, Joe Armon-Jones and Mala, Charlotte Dos Santos, Zara McFarlane, Yazmin Lacey, Oscar Jerome, Berwyn, Pa Salieu and composes and arranges music for his own band. Sam is a proud alumni of Tomorrow’s Warriors and the Aldeburgh Young Musicians programme. His approach draws from his London upbringing, combining the sounds of grime, UK bass, jazz, reggae and dub.

Zein Majali
INTIHAK انتهاك (violation)

Zein Majali's new audio visual performance explores the relationship between technology and perception, the evolution of a culture stalled through foreign innovation and machines, violently overwriting memory and social codes. 

Much has been said about the Arab world and its discontents. Majali’s work attempts to reckon with an interrupted civilisation and how continuous intervention has affected her generation’s perception of the past and vision for the future. INTIHAK انتهاك is built on the realisation that much of the artists’ cultural programming consumed as a teenager whilst living in Amman was funded by governments pushing pro-western sentiments among Arab youth. Confronting the impacts of soft power and software, Majali sees the effects of a cultural flattening through globalisation as crucial in her navigation of personal disconnection with her ancestral past.

Utilising generated, sampled and recorded sound and video, INTIHAK انتهاك jumps from ancient tribal rhythms to double time nightcore remixes and virtual worlds, mimicking the fragmented and disorienting act of tracing back culture while living in the cursed timeline of today.

Zein Majali is one of three recipients of Somerset House Studios’ Music and Sound Residency, a 15-month residency for experimental music and sound shaped by Somerset House Studios in collaboration with artist mentors Paul Purgas, Nkisi, and Gaika.


Zein Majali

Zein Majali is a Jordanian-Palestinian artist currently based in London where she completed her MA in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art in 2022. Formerly an engineer and data analyst, she turned to the arts out of an urgency to archive and examine the accelerated cultural shifts in the Arab world. While her work touches on a post-colonial and globalised Middle East, her primary area of interest is the internet and its effects on both geopolitics and community. Her practice includes video, sound, sculpture, AI and posting.


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