Boys & Their Noise: Off The Wall
We team up with sneaker kings Vans to put a spotlight on six of Egypt's most promising electronic musicians and take a walk down the beating heart of Egypt's music scene; the historical Mohamed Ali Street...
Off the wall, off the grid, off the side-chain. These six young up-and-coming musicians are slowly changing Egypt's sound-scape from the bottom up, all with their own unique style, ushering in a new generation of emerging underground producers. Huge creative investment in the region's electronic music scene has seen a flood of millennials taking on the beat-making baton so we've teamed up with Vans, ever the instigators of urban subculture cool, and took a walk with Cairo's brightest talent down the historic Mohammed Ali Street in Downtown Cairo; a place synonymous with the country's musical heritage...
Emitting a modest and understated persona, Alam lets his music do the talking. Born from the darker, minimal side of Techno, Alam has been releasing records since the age of 15, most recently with Electrum and Midi Life Records, and has recently become a regular fixture at Cairo's top underground venues. His latest release Invisible Landscape boasted a beautiful depth in taste, a down-tempo two track EP wrought with emotive prowess.
The Deep-House and Indie-Dance prodigies were producing whilst you were still singing Frère Jacques. Since beginning their fruitful collaboration at high school, the affable duo, still in their teens, have become arguably the most popular figures behind the decks in Cairo's nightlife after winning Electrum's massive 'Student DJ Competition' in 2013. Equally comfortable in front of crowds of thousands as shacked up in the studio carving out their particular brand of meticulous House, two EP releases this year - Square One and Polaroid - have proven they have an exciting future ahead of them and have the potential to garner the same scope of international acclaim on the House scene as compatriots Aly & Fila have done with Trance.
Going incognito under a bizarre masked alias, Childsplay perked ears this summer with an explosive debut three track EP, Kidstuff. He manages to play with every genre in the toy-box to masterful effect, seamlessly blending Drum & Bass with Electro, House and wholly Experimental twists for tracks beaming with energy.
Dark beats. Heavy bass lines. Haunting melodies. Crawl up your spine horns and subtle, stroking percussion loops. It's hard to believe Skeleton was made by a 17-year old but the debut EP of Yaseen El Azzouni AKA Cartoon Therapy last year - a graduate from Epic 101 Studio's now prominent production course - listens more like a veteran beatmaker with a sort of sonic exploration and has a very shadowy Massive Attack vibe. A much-anticipated remix album will be released by Cartoon Therapy later this summer.
Another promising young producer choosing to work under a pseudonym is Blufrank. Behind the obscure Transformers mask he dons whilst performing is a head brimming with 70s nostalgia, heavily reflected in his music that lies somewhere between Disco, Funk, Minimal House and Hip Hop. His tracks are regularly featured on a medley of modish international music blogs and it's refreshing to hear someone on the scene digging heavily into the past to create future sounds.