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Baskot Lel Baltageyya Tease Debut Album With ‘Esh 3arrafak?’

Combining a wide range of musical influences, ‘Esh 3arrafak?’ serves as an otherworldly debut for the Cairo-based group.

Zaid Kreshan

Baskot Lel Baltageyya Tease Debut Album With ‘Esh 3arrafak?’

Weaving together elaborately arranged synthesizers, pop rhythms, and existential songwriting, Baskot Lel Baltageyya’s ‘Esh 3arrafak?’ takes listeners through a dreamlike journey with its meandering melodies, dizzying arpeggios, and sinister undertones.

The track was released as the first single from Baskot’s upcoming self-titled album, which promises to continue exploring the track’s playful direction, while simultaneously trying to bridge the gap between pop and experimental music production.

Musician, producer, sound engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Adham Zidan and poet Anwar Dabbour each make up one half of Baskot Lel Baltageyya. Their debut single ‘Esh 3arrafak?’ (released under Saudi Arabian record label Wall of Sound for digital distribution, and French label Akuphone for vinyl release), delivers a synth-heavy, Shaabi infused pop tune, dense with both visual and musical cultural references, absurdist humour, and plenty of irony to boot.

The track starts with an arrangement of drum machines and synthesisers, cohesively layered into a fast-paced, suspenseful section that builds up to the tracks up-beat chorus.

Vocoded singing gives the track a futuristic flavor, contrasted by the nostalgic melodic lines and production style, which veers into, as Baskot puts it, “pre-Hamid” pop territory.

Originally an audio-visual project, Baskot Lel Baltageyya’s self-titled album comes as an extension of their self-described, “phantasmagoric” live-show experience. Pushing this further, the group’s latest music video reflects their visual storytelling philosophy, while delivering a light-hearted, yet thought provoking clip, directed by Super7amdy.

According to the album’s liner notes, “Astute listeners can find links between the album and the dark absurdist humor that prominently featured in Egyptian popular culture before life became more absurd than the culture. You may perceive similarities to monologuist performances, or to the different Shaabi musics of the region, or to old Egyptian TV scores, or to early electronic music, or to western psychedelia.”

Watch the full video for ‘Esh 3arrafak?’ here: