We review The Meteors Project's 'Swimming With Astronauts' album, which delve deep into the world of electronica.
The Meteors Project just released a new EP titled Swimming With Astronauts, and it is intense. We came out of our little shell to take the opinions of a couple of Egyptian artists from the electronic scene and beyond, and then we went back to our little shell and reviewed it ourselves.
The album starts out with a rising pad and percussions shortly followed by bass and drum lines. An arpeggiated synth pops up before the break fills in. The first track, Swimming With Astronauts, relies on a cacophony of sounds. A broken up drum line, claps on reverb, and one shot noise establish the album’s roots in the mellow quarters of electronica.
The second track - Seven Moons - starts of with a bouncy drum line, accompanied by a simple repetitive bass line, with a euphoric lead decimated over the track. The album so far has us encapsulated in the warm, velvety sound of The Meteors Project. The lead played in the second track is rather touching; the melody line is very well sought out, it shows through the harmony with a guitar later on in the piece.
Nova Blue is what remains; the third and final track kicks off with an elaborate rhythm section, ushering in a bass line and kick drum. A piano lead highlights the track's melancholic composition delivering a unique vibe, a certain message. The rest of the track peaks slowly, switching variations, but rolls on constantly.A well rounded release from live performance duo The Meteors Project – Karim El Zanfally and Gaser El Safty – who have been taking the Egyptian scene by storm lately, appearing in big club nights and festivals around the country. On the 25th of this month, The Meteors Project is set to play alongside Aly Goede and Hisham Zahran at Cairo Jazz Club.
We sent the EP to old school electronic music producer Hady Tarek, who found the EP impressive. "Love the smooth sounding pads on Swimming With Astronauts, gives you a float among the clouds vibe as title almost suggests, complimented by the crisp down tempo beat that are gives the track the right amount of energy," he says. "My favourite track is Nova Blue."
Berlin based Egyptian producer Hatem El Chiati told us "Their use of vintage drum machine sounds in the whole EP (808/606) creates a nice contrast with the melodic elements which show the artist’s influence of post/psychedelic rock." He continues "Nova blue steals it for me; it has soft airy pads layered under an electrifying piano chord progression with little variations here and there."
To add an opinion from someone outside of the electronic scene – someone with a classical background – we banked on singer/songwriter, piano player, assistant choir conductress, and video game/film/TV commercials scorer Hayat Selim. "Even though using strings with high lows in the background is used so often, it sounds very unique here," she tells us. "Swimming With Astronauts mixes very well between electronic music and new age – I like it. My favourite track is the first one, Swimming With Astronauts."