Released on his own label, Dyami Records, Mohamed Hegab makes his production comeback after a four-year hiatus, releasing under the Dubfunk alias.
Mohamed Hegab, a.k.a. Dubfunk, has been playing and making music for 20 years now. After a four-year hiatus, he makes his comeback with a release on his own British-based label, Dyami Records, which he formed back in 2007. With multiple highly acclaimed releases like Johan Vermeulen's Underwater EP and Steve Mill's In The Distance, the latter featuring remixes by Dana Bergquist and Daniel Kyo, Dyami is well seeded in the underground. Two tracks, Chromatic and The Last Dance, make up the EP that has become our favourite release on the Dyami imprint so far. Dubfunk really outdoes himself, delivering an epic transformation from his previous releases under the same guise.
We kick off with the first track, Chromatic; progressive house like we've never heard before – forward thinking, touching subtly on a very intense peak moment. From the start, the track develops an immensely acute atmosphere; only a kick and snare are playing, the artist utilises a chain of effects to create a distorted sound giving you the impression that something peculiar is about to take place. The first fill leads to the initial progression, where a whirlwind of synth noise and an eerie sub synth lead to the first drop, a 4/4 kick that is layered perfectly over the distorted drum pattern that keeps on rolling.Pads, ambient noise, a main synth line, and horns take the track well into the realms of progressive house, only different techniques are used. What the artist has done is that he borrowed some elements that are not usually utilised in that sub-genre and forged them onto a progressive house template, a successful experiment in our opinion. The track drives through towards the peak; the first break was the intro, the tracks entirety progresses to the peak, starts to layer off - without breaking - as it approaches the second break, after which the artist continues his peel off. As he reaches the very hind quarters of the track, certain sounds falter, until the very same kick and snare that started the track are what remains, alongside that quarter beat that highlighted the first drop which fades prior to the track ending.
The Last Dance is a slow drive techno track, an intrusive kick drum and bass line surrounded by some of the best effect work we have heard in a while. Ambient sounds breathe life to the track and a chiming sound delivers the dystopian soundscape to a new level, building up towards the initial drop. A wind lash that is paired with the second and fourth kick is insistent, breaking at certain parts only to come back again. The track's mid section relies heavily on a mallet-like instrument – it doesn't progress, though, and continues in monotone through the extent of the piece. The track is a well-rounded ending track, but does it contrast well with the first? Maybe not, and it doesn't have to; clearly from the EP's name, this release is all about Chromatic, which in our opinion is pure fire, one of the best releases coming out of the country this year.